THE enforced break from Premier League action looks set to work in Jay Rodriguez’s favour.

The Burnley striker came off with a knee injury in the 1-1 draw with Tottenham back on March 7 in the final game before the coronavirus pandemic brought all sports to an abrupt halt.

Rodriguez was potentially looking at some time on the sidelines but with the help of physio Phil Pomeroy, the 30-year-old has been able to work his way back to full fitness while on lockdown.

That means the frontman, who has eight goals in all competitions since his return to Turf Moor from West Brom last summer, is fully focused on being ready for the Premier League restart, the Clarets set to be in action on the weekend beginning June 19.

“It was early days when I did it, then we had the lockdown situation,” Rodriguez said.

“I was hoping to get back before the end of the season but with injuries you never know how long they can take to heal and recover and if you have setbacks. You can’t plan for that.

“We had a strict plan in place to return and I’ve stuck to that and ticked every box.

“It’s been good, Phil’s done a really good job of setting me up with the difficulties of being at home and not having the equipment as we have at the training ground but I’ve not felt like I’ve missed out that much in terms of recovery.

“I’ve come back now and am in full training and ready to go.”

Rodriguez has adapted to the different circumstances and taken things step-by-step, ultimately being pleased with the results before the players got the green light to return to training at Barnfield.

“The early stages are acute and my knee was looking good prior to lockdown,” he added.

“We worked on control, muscle strength and building up the muscles to protect the knee.

“Then there was the CV (cardiovascular) work, we had a watt bike, which was hard, but good.

“Things like that just keep you going and you can set little targets for yourself; trying to do more reps on a set of lunges and things like that.

“We just kept stepping it up and thankfully we reached a stage where I could run outside and slowly build that up.

“It’s been a gradual plan where I’ve had markers to hit.”

As well as a return to training, Rodriguez admits having a target date to aim for has been a real boost for everyone at Burnley, the Clarets 10th in the table and looking to add to a seven-game unbeaten run when they get back to action.

““It’s been really good; to get back and see the lads and get as normal as we can really,” he said.

“It was straight back into it. It’s always competitive – like every training session we do at Burnley.

“It’s good competition and you want to win and keep improving.

“With the contact and the training regime we’re doing and having that date really gives us as a team a focus for that first game.

“It’s definitely been a big morale boost and something we’re looking forward to.

“You always want to know details of what you’re leading up to and it’s been on everyone’s mind. Are we going to get a date to start?

“When we did it was a relief. We are happy to go ahead and follow the guidelines and the main thing is we’re safe, which is the key to it.”

Rodriguez will be in competition with Chris Wood, Ashley Barnes and Matej Vydra for a starting berth having appeared in all but one of the Clarets’ Premier League games so far this season.