Monday 9 December 2019

End to Dunne’s injury nightmare in sight as he returns to training

Richard Dunne is set for a return from injury
Richard Dunne is set for a return from injury

John Curtis

ASTON VILLA and Ireland defender Richard Dunne is poised to return to training this week after undergoing three operations this season.

Dunne, who is out of contract at Villa this summer, has been sidelined all season by groin and hip problems.

The news will be welcomed by Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni as he prepares for the crunch World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria in March.

Villa have also sorely missed his experience at the heart of their defence, particularly during the absence of captain Ron Vlaar with a calf problem.

It has been a nightmare 12 months for 33-year-old Dunne who was also out injured for nearly three months with a shoulder problem before returning at the very end of last season.

Villa boss Paul Lambert said: "If you look when Richard did his shoulder, he only came back for a couple of games and then had the groin problem at the Euros.

"He's not played much football for a year really. But the (latest) operation in America was successful and the main thing for everyone is to get him back fit."

Villa's head of European scouting, Michael Henke, is to leave the midlands club next month for a coaching role with German second division outfit FC Ingolstadt.

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