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Wednesday 02 May 2012

McLeish: Bent could be fit for Euros

Aston Villa striker will miss rest of League season, but may return for England

Darren Bent injured his ankle in a Barclays Premier League match at Wigan in February

Aston Villa striker Darren Bent could play in this summer's European Championship for England, according to Villa manager Alex McLeish.

Bent, 28, ruptured ligaments in his foot at Wigan in February to put his participation in Poland and Ukraine in doubt.

But McLeish says the frontman is making good progress in his recovery and could yet be an option for the tournament for new England manager Roy Hodgson.

"The doc thinks Darren's got a chance for the Euros"
- Alex McLeish

"I don't believe there is a chance of him playing again for Villa this season," McLeish told the club's official website.

"The doc thinks he's got a chance for the Euros though, so he's talking about four or five weeks.

"He's running and he's working individually with the physios. I'm not sure if he's at the level of striking a ball yet, but he can't be far away from that now.

"The physios will still be working on him to get him back to his peak fitness again. We have to make sure he gets back good and proper."

McLeish revealed he asked Bent if he might be able to take some part in Villa's last two Barclays Premier League matches this season - at home to Tottenham on Sunday 6th May and away at Norwich a week later.

"I said 'are you ready to go on the bench at the weekend or something," added the Villa boss.

"He said: 'No, not quite, but I'm making good progress, so boss it might be too soon'."

Bent is Villa's leading scorer in the League with nine goals so far this season, and he has also been included on Team GB Olympic football coach Stuart Pearce's provisional long-list of players to take part in the competition.

The former Charlton, Ipswich and Tottenham striker joined Aston Villa from Sunderland in an £18m deal in January 2011.

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Key Points

  • Darren Bent could return in time for Euros this summer
  • Villa striker has been out since end of February
  • Bent will not feature in Villa's last two League matches