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Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater is desperate to play after making just one appearance for his loan club Burnley all season.
This is according to Burnley boss Sean Dyche.
Dyche revealed Drinkwater is finally fully fit again nearly three months after an incident outside a nightclub in Manchester that left him with an ankle injury.
Dyche said: “He’s getting fitter. He’s had a number of reserve games, which was important, because he hasn’t played that much football, and his sharpness is improving, so he’s certainly in the mix.
“We all know there’s nothing like the real thing. You get players to a level, they get themselves to a level of course by taking on the work. His training levels have improved and I think he’s feeling better.”
When asked if Burnley will extend Drinkwater’s loan deal to the end of the season with his current loan deal set to expire in January, Dyche added: “We haven’t really seen him.
“Of course we know what he does in training, we’ve seen that, but it’s the games, everyone gets judged on the games.
“It’s too early to worry about that, we want to see him fit first, get on the pitch at some point and then take it from there.
“I’ve spoken about the bigger picture to him because he’s desperate to play. Working hard, trying to get back fit. An incident can happen and then you’ve got to recover from that.
“We’re not going to push someone who’s not quite there, we’re not going to force anything upon them, I wouldn’t with anyone here, whether they’re on loan or one of my players who’s under contract here.
“I think it’s a case of appropriate timing, when he’s ready, and of course displacing someone else, because we like the midfield players we’ve got here. He knows it’s a challenge, he knew it when he came here.”