SAM Vokes is not setting a specific date for his return to action – but the prospect of Premier League football will provide a real incentive in his recovery.

Vokes is out for several months after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury in the recent home match against Leicester but his 20 league goals played a huge part in the Clarets’ rise into the Premier League.

The Welsh international had to watch from the sidelines as promotion was clinched with victory over Wigan, but he took to the pitch on crutches to join in the celebrations after the game.

The striker will miss the beginning of next season but, while he hopes to be back before Christmas, he is not yet putting an exact date on his return.

“I don’t know,” Vokes said. “I’m going to work hard over the summer and come back some time next year. I’m not going to put a timeframe on it, we’ll see how it goes.

“But being in the Premier League does mean a lot.

“It caps off a great season and there’s one to look forward to next season.”

Vokes received a fantastic reception from supporters during the lap of honour after the Wigan game, with his team-mates also rallying round him since his injury.

The former Wolves man, who has netted 21 goals this season as part of a prolific partnership with 25-goal striker Danny Ings, admits Monday’s game was the highlight of his career, even though he didn’t kick a ball.

“Definitely,” he said. “Although I didn’t even play, to walk round the pitch and hear the fans singing your name, it was fantastic.

“The lads have been great with me and the support from everyone has been fantastic.

“It has been tough with the injury and the operation, but looking on from afar the boys have been fantastic and full credit to them, they deserved it. I knew they’d do it.

“It was a great result and a great performance to cap it all off.

“It’s a great moment for myself and everyone to do with the club.

“It’s been a great season and a well deserved promotion.”