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Thursday 03 April 2014

Blow for Villa as Benteke ruled out for rest of season

Aston Villa striker out for minimum of six months after suffering ruptured Achilles tendon

Christian Benteke is Aston Villa's leading goalscorer this season with 10 BPL goals

Aston Villa will be without Christian Benteke for the rest of the season after the striker ruptured his Achilles tendon in training on Thursday.

The Belgium international, who has scored 10 goals in 26 Barclays Premier League appearances this season, is expected to be out for a minimum of six months.

The news comes as a major setback to Villa, for whom Benteke has scored 29 goals in 60 Barclays Premier League outings since signing from Belgian club Genk in 2012.

The injury also rules the 23-year-old out of this summer’s FIFA World Cup finals.

"It's a terrible blow both for Christian and for the club," Villa manager Paul Lambert told the club's website. "He will miss the rest of the season, obviously, and also the World Cup. But he'll work hard because that's what he does and he'll come back for us stronger than ever next season."

In the meantime Lambert will have to reshuffle his pack for the visit of Fulham on Saturday, and with Darren Bent ineligible and Libor Kozak out with a broken leg, the Scot may turn to Grant Holt to lead the line.

The west Midlands club lie 12th in the Barclays Premier League, eight points above the relegation zone, with 34 points from 31 matches.

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