Burnley defender Matthew Lowton has issued a positive update on the knee injury he suffered earlier this year and could be on track to return for the upcoming trip to Manchester City.
The 31-year-old incurred the injury during February’s goalless draw against Arsenal but has not missed out on much action as his convalescence coincided with the Premier League’s coronavirus-enforced three-month hiatus.
The right-back told the club’s official website: “It’s given me the time to get the knee back right, so I’m happy with that. I am back in full training with the lads. We’ve had a couple of games and it’s held up fine.”
Lowton’s impending return from injury means that Sean Dyche now has the liberty of choosing between him and Phil Bardsley to start at right-back for the trip to the Etihad Stadium on 22 June.
The former Aston Villa man began the season as firm first choice in the position but started only four Premier League games since December as the 34-year-old then came into the side, with Bardsley starting each of Burnley’s last four league matches.
The veteran right-back duo have broadly similar performance metrics from the season so far. Lowton has the edge in terms of interceptions (1.7 to 1.1), key passes (0.7 to 0.4) and successful dribbles per game (0.5 to 0.3). However, Bardsley comes out on top for successful tackles (2.9 to 2.5) and clearances per game (2.9 to 2.8). [via WhoScored]
Lowton’s return to fitness has left Dyche with a pleasurable selection dilemma, with both him and Bardsley statistically on a par over the course of the season so far.
Who should be Burnley's first choice right-back?
The latter started when Burnley lost 1-4 to Manchester City in December, so the manager could give Lowton the nod this time around, provided he can get up to speed after not playing for more than four months.
Burnley fans, how big a boost is it to have Lowton back in action? Comment below with your views!
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