BURNLEY manager Eddie Howe has not ruled out a return for Jay Rodriguez before the end of the season, but says Martin Paterson is unlikely to play again this term after suffering a secondary hamstring injury.

Top scorer Rodriguez has missed the last five games with a groin injury, and there were fears he would not feature again.

But ahead of Saturday’s visit of Coventry City, Howe this morning said the striker is making good progress.

However, the Clarets boss stressed he would not put the 22-year-old at risk.

“He's not far away. He's working hard. It's the type of injury we need to make sure he's not getting and niggles,” said Howe.

“He played at Ipswich when he perhaps shouldn't have done. He pushed himself when we weren't aware that he was still feeling the injury.

“Hopefully we'll see him before the end of the season, but we can't guarantee that.”

Howe is less hopeful of Paterson’s chances of an end-of-season comeback.

“It's just a little niggly one, but with his recent history I don't think we'll take any chances with Pato. I don't think we'll see him before the end of the season,” he said.

“We just need to make sure he looks after himself over the summer and gets himself right for next year.”