Jonty Mark

By Jonty Mark

Football Editor

Burnley get a pleasant ‘surprise’ as Foster makes EPL return

'Football is part of his life, it’s something he needs to do to be happy as well,' said Burnley head coach Vincent Kompany.

Vincent Kompany has admitted it was a “surprise” that Lyle Foster was able to return to English Premier League action for Burnley on Saturday.

Lyle Foster made his first appearance in almost two months, after being given time off to deal with mental health issues, coming on as a half time substitute in their 2-0 English Premier League defeat at home to Everton.

Kompany had indicated this week that there was no way Foster could play for Bafana Bafana at the Africa Cup of Nations finals early next year, after he was named in Hugo Broos’ preliminary squad.

Broos has to name his final 23-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations by January 3 and Foster’s appearance on Saturday may raise South African hopes again, but Kompany sounded another word of caution after the Everton match.

“It was a surprise to us as well (being involved),” said the Burnley head coach after the game, according to the club’s official website.

“We hadn’t really expected that he was able to return. But it was the opinion of the experts that keeping him in his natural environment was important.

“Football is part of his life, it’s something he needs to do to be happy as well.

“We were ready for anything and 45 minutes physically is what he was able to do. In the second-half you could see how much of an impact he can have.

‘It’s step by step’

“I have to add, it’s really important not to confuse things. This is part of his process of getting back, it’s not like we can fly him all over the world now. This is just part of his return to health.

“We follow what the medical experts say. It’s step by step, It’s being with the team, being with people he considers his friends and keeping a very small world for him. That seems to put him in a good place. This is just part of his recovery.”

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