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Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope closing in on return from injury

PA | 2mo
The 26-year-old dislocated his shoulder at Aberdeen in July.

England goalkeeper Nick Pope could return to action in Burnley's FA Cup third-round clash with League One Barnsley.

The 26-year-old has been sidelined since dislocating his shoulder in the Clarets' opening fixture this season, a 1-1 Europa League draw at Aberdeen in July.

However, he is back in training and manager Sean Dyche has revealed he has a chance of being involved at Turf Moor on Saturday with Tom Heaton having taken over from Joe Hart for back-to-back Premier League victories over West Ham and Huddersfield.

Dyche told a press conference: "Well, we'll see because Popey's not quite fully-fit yet, but he's been training with us a long time now and he's chomping, that's for sure, to be ready to play.

"We'll decide over the next couple of days, but certainly his mentality is really clear. Tom has come in and done well, Joe has done well...

"Sometimes it can be unfortunate for keepers, and fortunate for the one coming in. What I mean by that is it's good goalkeeping, that's fine, but also sometimes it's also that matter that you do need the team in front of you to operate.

"Tom has come in and the team has operated in front of him, so that's helpful as well.

"I like them all. It's who's up for the task, who is ready to play at any given time. That's obviously what I'm here to do, pick a team that can win games."

Pope is not the only man who could be involved after an injury lay-off this weekend with full-back Stephen Ward and midfielder Steven Defour also back in contention.

Ward has been out of action since September and Defour since the beginning of December, both with knee injuries, but Dyche has indicated that they too could play against Barnsley.

He said: "Steven Defour has got a good chance for the weekend. Stephen Ward has got a chance as well – he's going really well and has been training for a couple of weeks now.

"Equally, we'll consider Popey as well as being part of that group and that thinking, so there's three more who are getting somewhere close again and possible for the weekend."



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3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914
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Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914
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