Villa optimistic about Benteke
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is hopeful star striker Christian Benteke could return quicker than initially diagnosed.
Lambert confirmed on Tuesday Belgium international Benteke faced up to six weeks on the sidelines with a hip injury sustained during the first half of Villa's 1-0 win at Norwich on Saturday.
Lambert has refused to put a timeframe on the positive prognosis, but the tentative suggestion is Benteke may return after next month's international break and the home game with Tottenham on October 20.
"He is doing great. I think he will be back quicker. We'll have to wait and see," said Lambert.
"We've two games before the international break, which has probably come at the right time for him and for us.
"The worst scenario was he was going to be out for a considerable period of time, but the way he is progressing, everybody is pretty happy with him."
Lambert has indicated a lack of proper rest period may have played its part in Benteke's current problem given the demands placed on him by club - not just Villa but former side Genk - and country.
"He played a lot of games with Genk before he joined us, so he never really had that much of a break," added Lambert.
"The amount of games he's had here, and playing for the national team, never gave him that breathing space.
"He never mentioned he was fatigued or anything, he just kept on going.
"It's the first time he's been injured since I've been here, but hopefully, as I've said, it's not too bad."
Benteke is one of nine players currently on the sidelines, although Lambert is hopeful the likes of Gabriel Agbonlahor, Fabian Delph and Andreas Weimann should be fit for Saturday's visit of Manchester City.