English Premiership

Benteke edges closer to return

2014-09-30 10:12
Christian Benteke (Gallo Images)

London - Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke could make his first Premier League appearances in nearly six months this weekend as he continues his comeback from an Achilles injury.

The Belgium international has been sidelined since April after rupturing his Achilles tendon, ruling him out of the latter stages of last season as well as the World Cup.

Having returned to training in mid-September, the 23-year-old took a big step towards a return to the senior side when he played 63 minutes for the Aston Villa Under-21 side on Monday, getting his name on the scoresheet in the process.

As a result the striker could be in line to face Manchester City on Saturday, October 4 although manager Paul Lambert insists he will not be rushed.

"Christian played for about an hour today and we're delighted with how he came through the game. It was great to see him back out there and he played well in the time he was on the pitch," said Lambert.

"He scored a goal, which is great for him, and his general play was good, too, considering how long he's been away from it.

"We'll see how he feels tomorrow and how he recovers but it was a good, positive step for him today. It will have given him a lift to get out there and play and score a goal and that's great for him."

Benteke, who joined Villa from Genk in 2012, has scored 34 goals in 67 games for Villa.


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