CLARETS captain Ben Mee is in line for a return this week, handing manager Sean Dyche a timely boost.

The central defender has been sidelined by a thigh injury since the end of June, but played in a training ground game last week to put him in line for a recall against Brighton at the Amex on Friday.

Mee's return would be a huge boost to a Clarets side sitting bottom of the Premier League with just one point from their opening six games, and just one clean sheet.

"There are some more positive signs in the fact Ben Mee got some minutes in a behind-closed-doors game, as did Phil Bardsley (who has returned from a period of self isolation after testing positive for Covid-19)," said Dyche.

"He's got a chance. He feels pretty good, certainly injury-free-wise he is good.

"It's not just about Ben - and it shouldn't take away from the other players - but I think he's earned his right to be an important player.

"It is fair to say he is a very good player for us.

"We are beginning to look like the squad we know we have got so I think that is slightly more positive and getting more positive as the weeks go on.

"Johann (Berg Gudmundsson) has got a chance. We will have a decision to make with him."

But there are other still on the road to recovery.

"We are still going to be missing Jack Cork (ankle)," said Dyche, adding: "Erik Pieters (calf) will not be involved."