Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke is set to return from the knee injury that has seen him missing for the Villains since March.
Benteke’s surgery appears to have been a success and Villa boss Paul Lambert could play the 23-year-old against champions Manchester City next weekend, according to the Mirror.
“Christian’s not too far away. He has been training for a couple of weeks and there has been no reaction.”
The Villa Park faithful have seen their side make a brilliant start to the season and Paul Lambert’s charges are now in a good position to, at the very least, ensure their Premier League survival if they can keep notching up points. Their positive start has seen them reach sixth place in the Premier League with six games played and a return of ten points.
They have however lost their last two games 3-0 to both Chelsea and Arsenal who to be fair to the Birmingham outfit are sides who will be challenging for the title this term. A tally of just four goals for Villa this season will not be good enough to sustain the position they’re in though so Benteke’s return looks to be a timely one.
He will need to return to the form of the 2012/13 season which saw him score 19 goals in 34 games to give Villa some breathing space towards the end of this season, something they haven’t had the pleasure of in recent campaigns albeit even with Benteke’s form two seasons ago.
Players respond differently once returning from injury but if Benteke’s return can coincide well with Villa’s above average start to the season then a top half finish will not be out of the question. However, Lambert insists the Belgian international should not be put under undue pressure on his return.
“First and foremost, I don’t think there’s any pressure on him. You don’t heap pressure on somebody with that injury. But if we can sort out some sort of friendly game for him this week, we can decide.”
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena.
Featured image By Ian Wilson from London, England (Villa Park) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons