Belfast Telegraph

Benteke closing in on return

Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke has hinted he is ready to return to training and bring an end to his five month injury nightmare.

The 23-year-old ruptured his Achilles in April, forcing him to miss Belgium's World Cup campaign.

However, he tweeted on Sunday he is looking forward to "the big day" as he gears up for a Villa comeback.

Benteke wrote: "5months today! The road was long but tomorrow it's the big day! Doing what I love the most. Thank you for all the support you're the best."

The forward was expected to return in September, with boss Paul Lambert confirming his recovery was going well.

He has been working with private physio Lieven Maesschalk, who revealed Benteke is closing in on playing again.

Maesschalk told Sporza: "Over the past five months Christian worked very hard. His rehabilitation was done in phases.

"Alternately he worked at the club and in my practice. The hard work has paid off because Christian is now finally back to his club.

"Initially he worked off running sessions but now he is training with the group. Again, everything is going as desired. I expect him to return by the end of the month."

Villa are second in the Barclays Premier League after their 1-0 win at Liverpool on Saturday.

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