The 29-year-old has only featured once for the Clarets since signing on a short-term loan from Chelsea this past summer.
"We haven't really seen him," said the Burnley boss. "Of course we know him, we know what he does in training we've seen that but it's the games, everyone gets judged on the games, I think he's just part of that thinking.
"So I think it's too early to worry about that, we want to see him get fit first and get on the pitch at some point and then take it from there.
"I think there's an element of him getting himself back on track. I've spoken about the bigger picture to him because he's desperate to play, desperate, he's working hard trying to get fit.
"But it's the bigger picture, we're not going to push someone who's not quite there, we're not going to force anything upon them, I wouldn't with any player here whether they are on loan or one of my players who's under contract.
"So I think it's a case of appropriate timing, when he's ready, when he's to push, and of course displacing someone else because we like the midfield players we've got here.
"He knows it's a challenge, he knew it when it came here."
He added: "He's getting fitter, he's had a number of reserve games which was important because he hasn't played that much football and his sharpness is improving so he's certainly in the mix of thinking.
"He was last week, he travelled with us [to Watford] so he will certainly come into the thinking."