BURNLEY boss Sean Dyche admits he has been 'cautious' with Johann Berg Gudmundsson's return from injury for fear of losing the winger for an extended period.

The Iceland ace has not featured since coming off the bench in the FA Cup third round win over Barnsley but could return to the XI for the trip to Manchester City in round four on Saturday.

Burnley will also welcome Robbie Brady back from suspension and Dyche hinted at rotating his squad with the likes of Nick Pope and Stephen Ward, also on the comeback trail from injury, set to feature.

And the Clarets chief hopes that by missing the last two matches, Gudmundsson will have fully recovered from his thigh problem.

"We have to be cautious because we have had so many bodies missing on and off this season so the thing is now when they are that close we can’t risk it for fear of losing them for a longer period," said the Clarets chief.

"I hope it has worked by him not playing and I hope it allows him a better period of recuperation for next week.

"Next week we will have to be quite greedy with the game and use it for our reasons, almost beyond the fact that is an important FA Cup game.

"The bigger picture for us is the Premier League and we have suffered with injuries and that might be an important game to get game time into them while still believing in a side that can go and win."

In the absence of Gudmundsson, Brady and Aaron Lennon Dwight McNeil, who signed a new contract at the club this week, has thrived while Jeff Hendrick has started the last two games on the right of midfield.

Lennon and Jon Walters remain longer term absentees.

Dyche added: "Azza is going to be longer term, he is making good progress.

“He was in in the week so it was good to see him. Jon Walters will be a longer one, I doubt it will be before the end of the season for Jon.

“It will be good to have Robbie back and Johann, obviously it gives us more options but I must say Dwight has done very well and Jeff (Hendrick) when asked has done very well as well.”