James Tarkowski says he has “recovered really well” after undergoing an operation which forced him to withdraw from England’s World Cup preparations.
The Burnley defender, who made his England debut in March, had been training with the Three Lions ahead of the tournament in Russia having been named on boss Gareth Southgate’s five-man standby list.
But it was announced on May 27 that the 28-year-old centre-back had withdrawn, with it having been decided that he would undergo hernia surgery.
Tarkowski underwent successful surgery at the beginning of this month and has been working at Burnley’s training ground with the start of pre-season training just a fortnight away.
“I’ve recovered really well. I’m really surprised, to be honest,” Tarkowski told Clarets Player HD on Monday.
“I thought it would be a bit longer before I was back outside doing work but the surgeon has done a good job and I feel probably the best I have in quite a long time. It’s just getting that fitness back.”
Burnley, who finished seventh in the Premier League last term, are set to kick off their 2018/19 campaign on July 26 with the first leg of their Europa League second qualifying-round tie.
Tarkowski added of his hernia problem and operation: “It wasn’t something that had come out of nowhere. I had been struggling for a while with it and I knew at some point I had to get it done.
“It was just finding the right chance and in a World Cup year and after being called up in the March group, it was a difficult decision to make.
“But I feel it was the right one to make going into next season.
“It was tough with the England one because I was quite new to it and it never looks well when someone just pulls out of the squad, especially before they even turn up.
“I felt it was the right thing to do for me to turn up and try my best to get through it.
“But I just didn’t feel right and it’s not fair on myself or the players there if I’m not 100 per cent and I’m called upon and I want to do myself justice when I’m around that group.
“This season is more important.”