Date: 4th April 2008 at 8:45am
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Besart Berisha signed from Hamburg SV in July 2007 for £340,000 but has yet to make his first team debut after suffering a cruciate ligament injury on international duty for Albania back in September.

The 22-year old has made steady progress and it was hoped at one point that maybe he would be available to play just before the end of this season. However, he not yet been able to train with the first team and he has now effectively been given the target to get himself fit for the start of the new season.

Owen Coyle speaking about the injury said:

‘Besart is coming along and doing bits and pieces with the first team. He is still a good bit away from playing games though and because of the nature of the injury it would be folly to push him on.

‘He wants to do more stuff, but we have had to put the reins on and it would be reckless not to take it carefully.

‘He might get a reserve game before the end of the season, but there’s no doubt he will be ready for pre-season and I’m looking forward to seeing him in action.’

The Clarets have suffered this season from the lack of a left winger with often Kyle Lafferty taking over that role despite his preferred position in leading the attack. Bes will hopefully provide more options on the left wing next season as Clarets fans wait to see what he can offer.

This slightly disappointing but understandable news was however coupled with some better news on another of our long-term injured players. Michael Duff. He too has steadily been recovering from a cruciate injury that has kept him out of contention for most of the season. Having however come through six successful reserve games, Owen Coyle now believes the defender is ready to be considered for the first team sqaud. We can therefore expect to see Duff in the sixteen and hopefully play at some point in our five remaining games.

Owen Coyle also believes the success of Duff in overcoming his injury could also spur on Berisha.

Coyle told BBC Radio Lancashire:

‘The last thing you want at the club is two serious injuries.

‘However, Besart can take confidence from Michael.’

He continued: ‘He’s coming along but he’s further behind where Michael is in terms of getting back to full fitness.’

‘The signs are there and when he gradually takes those steps he’s going to be in my mind for first-team selection.’