STEVEN Defour is in contention to face Manchester City this weekend, but Robbie Brady's wait for a first team return will continue.

Both players came through 90 minutes in a behind-closed-doors game against AFC Fylde this week.

Defour was back in first team action against Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup at the end of September and was on the bench for the Premier League game at Cardiff, but he missed the clash with Huddersfield before the international break to attend to a personal issue.

The game with the Coasters was Brady's first 90 minutes since suffering a serious knee injury last December, but the trip to the Etihad will come too soon for him.

"Steven, although he’s been injury free, he got another 90 in in midweek, which is great, to make sure he’s fit and well, which he is," said Dyche.

"Robbie came through that as well, his first 90 minutes, because he’s been close to 90 minutes and we’ve just had to take him off with a little niggle, the last one was his hamstring when he was clear.

"We’re not going to clear him for this week, but that’s a great step forward.

"Steven feels fine, it’s just us being careful, but he’s training really well and his eye looks in. We look forward to having him back, he’s more or less there."

Stephen Ward will be out for a few weeks after a minor operation on his knee, but Nick Pope is back in light training after dislocating his shoulder in July and Ben Gibson is set for a return from a hernia operation next week.

“Wardy, unfortunately, has had sort of a tidy up with his knee," said Dyche.

"So we’ll wait and see, that will be weeks rather than days.

"Popey is out on the grass with Billy Mercer, but tentatively, just getting his handling going, not flying around at this stage, but he’s going along very well.

"Ben Gibson is joining in with training and hopefully will get a game next week, behind closed doors."