Bouma boost for Villa
Aston Villa's Wilfred Bouma could recover from his ankle injury for the start of the season.
Last Updated: 23/07/09 1:53pm
Aston Villa's Wilfred Bouma could be fit for the start of the season after manager Martin O'Neill revealed the defender may be ready to return to action in August.
The left-back has not played in Villa's first-team since last July after suffering a horrific ankle injury during an Intertoto Cup third-round victory over Odense.
Bouma was close to returning to O'Neill's squad at the end of last season, but suffered a complication that required further surgery on his problematic ankle.
Villa, though, are optimistic the 31-year-old could feature in their first game of the Premier League, at home to Wigan on 15th August, after he was included in a 26-man squad for pre-season fixtures in Spain.
O'Neill told the Express and Star: "He is back training. He is pretty happy with proceedings and it's just taking a bit more time.
"He had that setback but seems to have recovered from that.
"I reckon he might be back some time in August, but please don't hold me to that."