SAM Vokes will be included in Burnley’s week-long pre-season tour of Austria today, despite having some way to go on his road to recovery.
The striker is not expected to return to action until the end of this calendar year or beginning of 2015 after suffering a ruptured anterior cruciate knee ligament in late March. During the closed season Vokes also had surgery on his shoulder following a minor dislocation mid-season.
But manager Sean Dyche says the Wales international is responding well to treatment and physio following both operations and will accompany the squad on their European pre-season trip today.
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“He’s good. He’ll come away with us,” said the Burnley boss.
“We want Vokesy to know he's still part of it and it will give him a nice lift to come away with us.
"We've got very good facilities over there as well, so he'll get maximum time with physios and maximum facilities to keep doing his rehab.
"But he's going along nicely. He's in good spirits actually.
"I keep reminding him there's nothing not to be happy about.
"These things nowadays, it's just time. You clear up, get back fit, happy days you're in the Premier League. You just keep focusing on that.”
But Dyche said it was not yet possible to say when the 25-year-old would be ready to return to first team action.
"It's too early really,” said the Burnley boss.
“When it gets closer we can start defining timescales but he's certainly going well as regards the general rehab.”
Michael Kightly is not currently involved in first team training while he also recovers from injury but the winger, who made his move from Stoke City permanent this summer after a full season on loan at Turf Moor, will also travel with the squad to Austria this afternoon.
The Clarets will be based at a training camp an hour south of Vienna, with the trip rounded off by their first friendly of pre-season.
Dyche’s side will play FC Grossklein, who play in the Styrian championship and are located near Graz.