DANNY DRINKWATER has taken the first steps towards reviving his Burnley career by playing his first full game of football since suffering an ankle injury on a boozy night out.
Chelsea flop Drinkwater has been sidelined since hurting himself when he was involved in a nightclub fight at the beginning of September.
The England midfielder was hurt in a brawl with a group of other revellers after trying to chat up one of their girlfriends.
Drinkwater, 29, has been sidelined since – but made an important step on his road to recover by figuring in a Clarets under-23 side in the Lancashire Senior Cup.
He played the whole 90 minutes in the match against Fylde, which the Premier League club won 3-1.
Now the former Leicester Premier League winner is hoping to get himself back to fitness to at least stake a claim for a place in Sean Dyche's plans.
Drinkwater has made just one first team appearance since his loan move to Turf Moor in the summer.
That was in a Carabao Cup defeat by League One Sunderland in August, but the injury happened almost immediately after and has wrecked his Burnley career.
His current loan deal runs out in January, when Dyche will have to make a decision on whether to extend it to the end of the season or not.
SunSport reported how Burnley were ready to send him packing straight back to Stamford Bridge, where he is completely out of Frank Lampard's plans.
Only a quick return to fitness and making an immediate impact if given the chance is likely to sway the opinion of the manager.
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