Burnley’s key player has made his long-awaited return to competitive action at the weekend.

Burnley’s Darko Churlinov, who had been eagerly anticipated to return to competitive play, finally made his comeback over the weekend. The winger played 45 minutes for North Macedonia on Saturday in their Euro 2024 qualifier against Ukraine, resulting in a 2-0 loss.

This marked the 23-year-old’s first appearance in half a year, as his last outing was during a goalless draw with Reading in April when he was with Burnley. Churlinov’s absence from the field was due to a severe health scare he endured over the summer, which led to his hospitalization on suspicion of blood poisoning. However, he has since resumed training with the first team and aims to earn a place back in Vincent Kompany’s squad.

Burnley's Darko Churlinov to miss two months with injury - The Athletic

Churlinov is now included in Burnley’s 25-man Premier League roster, after initially being left out in favor of Samuel Bastien. But with Bastien’s loan move to Turkey, Churlinov, who had not yet made it to a match day squad this season, was reinstated to fill the final spot.

Speaking in late August, Kompany expressed his optimism about Churlinov’s recovery, saying, “It’s really, really positive. We had expected a long absence from the pitch, but his recovery has been nearly miraculous. While I can’t provide a specific timeline at the moment, if his progress continues as it is now, he’ll regain full fitness. Hopefully, by next month, when you ask the same question, I can give a more positive answer.”

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