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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 17 August, 2018
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'I'm feeling good and ready to go' - Ireland's Ward back in contention for club

The Burnley defender has been out of action with a knee injury.

Stephen Ward (file pic).
Stephen Ward (file pic).
Image: Anthony Devlin

FIT-AGAIN IRELAND INTERNATIONAL Stephen Ward has stepped up his comeback from injury and is ready for Burnley’s end of season push.

The 32-year-old defender has been out of action since before Christmas with a niggling knee injury, but got almost 75 minutes under his belt as an overage player in the Clarets’ U23′s defeat to Huddersfield Town on Monday.

“It felt really good,” Ward told Burnley’s official website after the run-out.

“It’s just important to get back on the pitch and get used to playing. It’s nice to be feeling good and strong and to get a few minutes out there.

“It’s not really in my hands but I’m feeling good and ready to go. I’m feeling a lot sharper, so we’ll see what happens.

“We’ve had a great season and the more bodies we can have back now, hopefully that will help us have a strong finish.”

The Dubliner is relishing the opportunity to prove himself to senior manager Sean Dyche once again upon his return, after 10 games out.

Stephen Ward In action for Ireland. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

He’s back in full training and U23s boss Michael Duff was delighted to have Ward’s services despite his side’s 3-0 loss.

“He looked comfortable. It’s good every now and again to get a first-team player in and out because the lads see how they prepare for games as well.

“They watch the way he goes about things in the dressing room. His prehab, the way he warms, the intensity he warms up.

“Wardy has got nearly 50 international caps and played in European Championships.

“That’s a bit of insight into the professionalism you need to have off the pitch and which you need to carry onto the pitch.”

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