ASHLEY Barnes has earned praise for the way he has handled a long road to recovery.

The Burnley striker played his first game since New Year's Day in Wednesday's Carabao Cup defeat to Manchester City.

Barnes was not anticipating such a lengthy lay-off when he required hernia surgery at the turn of the year.

But after suffering complications following the operation he spent the best part of 10 months on the sidelines.

“To be fair, he’s done well with it. It’s been really awkward for him, a really hard road back, the ups and downs," said Burnley boss Dyche.

“He’s listened to us, we gave him a plan of attack when he got right in the end. At first he was chomping and wanted to be back fit quicker than anyone, we had to slow that down, gave him a games programme, and said he’d be ready for the other night to at least figure.

“We got him started because he’s looked fit and well, and he did really well, and we had to be a little bit cautious by getting him off the pitch.

“He’s very hungry to get back regularly so we’ll monitor that as we go."

Barnes is expected to make his Premier League comeback away to Newcastle United tomorrow night (kick-off 8pm).