Monday 29 September 2014 11:25, UK
Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has revealed that Christian Benteke could make his return to action against Manchester City next weekend.
Striker Benteke has been out of action since April after suffering a serious Achilles injury.
The Belgian international is back in training and is progressing well with his fitness, meaning he could come into consideration for the visit of City on Saturday.
"Christian's not too far away," said Lambert. "He has been training for a couple of weeks and there has been no reaction. Everyone in the team will be grateful when he is back and what he hands us is an attacking force.
"You've got to remember he's been out for five months and has only been in full training for two weeks. I'll have that dialogue with him. We'll see how he feels.
"If we think he's justified to go in with his fitness levels then that's something that myself and the staff will decide.
First and foremost I don't think there's any pressure on him. You don't heap pressure on somebody that's just coming back from that injury.
"First and foremost I don't think there's any pressure on him. You don't heap pressure on somebody that's just coming back from that injury.
"If Christian can do what he did in his first year and up until he got injured last year then that's great."
Lambert is a huge fan of Benteke and admits he is one of the best strikers he has seen and worked with.
"He's one of the best No.9s I've seen," added Lambert. "And I played with three of the best strikers in the world in Karl-Heinz Riedle, Henrik Larsson and Stephane Chapuisat. He's certainly up there and a lot younger than the lads I played with.
"If Christian can have the career that those guys had, he'll be doing well for himself. He's only 23 and has got a long way to go. He's got a chance if he keeps at it."