BURNLEY are set to start pre-season with a fully fit squad in preparation for their Europa League adventure.

The Clarets ended the 2017-18 campaign without a number of key players.

But they are all on course to report back for duty at the start of next month as they prepare for a third straight Premier League season, and the additional challenge of European football.

Steven Defour and Robbie Brady have been the longest absentees.

Brady was sidelined by a patellar tendon tear in December that required surgery, while Defour also went under the knife to repair the knee injury he suffered the following month. But both are now progressing well on their comeback from those long-term injuries.

James Tarkowski has had a successful operation on the hernia problem that forced him to withdraw from England’s World Cup standby list, while Ben Mee and Ashley Barnes have recovered from the knocks which forced them to miss the end of an historic season, after seventh place in the Premier League means Burnley will be playing in a European competition for the first time in 51 years.

Defour has the most European experience out of all the squad, having graced the Champions League, Europa League and Uefa Cup during his time with Standard Liege, Porto and Anderlecht, so the midfield playmaker’s availability will be particularly key to the Clarets.

Speaking to the club’s website, head physio Ally Beattie said: “He’s done quite a lot of his rehab back in Belgium, which we’re happy with, with the Belgium national team physio, who we have a good relationship with.

“That works well for him and now he’s back with us for the next few weeks for grass-based sessions, strength sessions, balance sessions and stability sessions and really he should be okay for pre-season.

“Obviously we will monitor him and we might just change what he does slightly in pre-season, in terms of loading and modify that, but he looks really good and nice and strong.”

Brady has also been a regular at the club’s Barnfield Training Centre since the end of the season.

“He looks nice and sharp. He has natural agility and is doing really well,” added Beattie.

“Phil (Pomeroy) has been working with him a lot and, if anything, it’s been reining Robbie in, rather than having to push him.

“He will be pretty much the same (as Steven).”

Defender Tarkowski reported for England duty after being named on Gareth Southgate’s standby list, but a hernia problem that Burnley were aware of became too problematic for the 25-year-old.

“I think we did it the right way,” said Beattie. “We knew it needed doing but the gaffer said he wouldn’t pull someone out of the World Cup. It might be his only chance to go.

“He went along to England and was struggling a bit. He’s had it done and he should be absolutely fine for pre-season. He’s good.”

A shin injury forced Mee to miss the final seven games of the season but has cleared up, as has the shoulder injury Barnes sustained at Arsenal in the penultimate game of the season.

“He feels brilliant now. It’s pain-free. He shouldn’t have a problem. He’s all good,” Beattie continued.

“Touch wood, we should have everyone in for pre-season.”