JAMES Tarkowski is in contention for a place in the squad for Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace, just three weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a hernia.

The defender had continued to struggle with a groin problem, which had initially prompted his withdrawal from England’s five-man standby squad for the 2018 World Cup so that he could have an operation.

But having started the season, a specialist recommended further surgery for Tarkowski earlier this month after the 26-year-old had struggled through a number of games.

Ben Gibson also had a similar operation days beforehand, and Dyche says both defenders have made good progress with their recovery.

“Ben Gibson got a training game on Tuesday, as did Tarky. He’s on his way to full fitness. He’ll be in the thinking,” said Dyche, who will also have Johann Berg Gudmundsson available, after he missed Monday’s game with Newcastle because of a bug.

“Everyone is more or less back now,” added Dyche.

“I don’t want to tempt fate, but Johann was sick the other night, he’ll be back in the thinking. He’s only just been training the last week or so but obviously he didn’t have too long out and he was fully fit going into the injury.

“Gibbo is slightly different because he’s got back, then got injured again, so he’s on his second comeback. He’s not as match ready as Tarky it’s fair to say, but they’re both training with us all the time at the moment, which is really pleasing.

“Generally other people are getting sharper.

“Robbie (Brady) is getting sharper, and the game readiness of all the players, which is important.

“I think it takes time for players. Approximately a year is a long time for a player to be out.

“We know he’s got quality, we know he can adapt and affect games and add to what we do.”

Dyche added: “The good thing with the (international) break was that we managed to get some good work into them, so I think that’s given them another edge to their performance. Certainly on Monday the physical stats were very high.

“There are a number of different things but obviously with the injury side it is beneficial when you’ve got a full complement of players to pick from and we’re virtually getting back there, other than the long term ones like Popey (Nick Pope) and Wardy (Stephen Ward), who are making good progress but are still a bit away yet.”