FIT-again Ben Mee wants to put his injury woes behind him this week by getting back in the Burnley team, and staying there.
The defender missed the start of the season because of a knee problem but had an broken run in the side from late August until Christmas.
Mee had to sit out the last two games of 2013 because of a thigh strain, and has not featured since his New Year’s Day comeback was cut short with a recurrence.
But ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Brighton, the 24-year-old insists he is ready for action again, and wants to play a key part in the last 20 games.
“That’s the plan,” said the left back, who feels he has benefited from an extended break with Burnley’s free weekend.
“I had a few injuries last year and I didn’t want to have the same sort of recurrence.
“I got a good run in the team from early on (this season) and Boxing Day at Middlesbrough was the first one I’d missed for a while, which was a bit annoying.”
Mee insists he did not come back too soon after his last setback, but does not fear a recurrence this time around.
“I trained the day before the New Year’s a Day game and felt really good. The gaffer asked if I was fully fit and I said ‘yes’,” he explained.
“I felt good during the game in the first half, it’s frustrating that it fatigued a bit and I just started to feel it again, which wasn’t great.
“It was more of a precaution to come off but we’ve stepped up the healing.
“I feel fine now, but it’s up to the manager whether I come back in.”
Danny Lafferty has started in Mee’s absence, and with Burnley unbeaten in their two league games this calendar year the former Manchester City defender knows there are no guarantees of an immediate return.
“He’s showed faith in me in previous cases so hopefully I will get back in, but I just need to work hard,” he said.
“We’ve got some big games coming up and I’m working hard to be involved.”