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1718 burnley jonathan walters 01 500x500Stephen Ward and James Tarkowski will be missing when Burnley face Tottenham Hotspur and then Manchester United over the next five days, but there is good news for us with injured players returning to fitness.

Ward came off just before half time during the 1-0 win against Stoke with a knee injury. Charlie Taylor came on for him and took his place at Brighton. That looks set to continue in the immediate future with Ward not expected to be fit for either of the first two games over the Christmas period.

We learned this morning that Tarkowski would be out through a three match ban, but this afternoon’s news has confirmed he’d have been missing in any case with the hand injury that has required surgery.

He’s had a broken hand pinned and manager Sean Dyche said this afternoon: “The good side of modern surgery with plating and screwing is it will be strong. After three games we’re hopeful he’ll be back in contention.”

With Ben Mee having returned last week, Kevin Long will step in again to partner the acting captain in the centre of defence.

Injuries have certainly caught up with us in defence recently but there is some really good news further forward with Dyche reporting: “Jon Walters (pictured) and Dean Marney could be in contention.” He also said that Tom Heaton’s rehab is going along really nicely.”

Walters hasn’t played since featuring for the Republic of Ireland against Georgia in September whilst Marney’s been absent since he was stretchered off in the 2-1 defeat at Arsenal in January, almost eleven months ago.

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