Tag Archives: shoulder

Anthony Ogogo won his first professional fight

Olympic star Ogogo throws knockout blow in second round of professional debut

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

20:56 GMT, 27 April 2013

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UPDATED:

00:42 GMT, 28 April 2013

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Anthony Ogogo entered the ring to the wise words of Winston Churchill but was never forced to revert to the trenches as he started his professional career in blistering style.

The 24-year-old was the second member of Team GB to make his debut in the paid ranks having signed with American promoters Golden Boy last year.

And the middleweight made short work of his opponent Kieron Gray, stopping him in the second round after a straight right landed flush on the chin.

Jumping for joy: Anthony Ogogo celebrates knocking out Kieron Gray inside two rounds

Jumping for joy: Anthony Ogogo celebrates knocking out Kieron Gray inside two rounds

Ogogo won a bronze medal last summer
having given serious consideration to pulling out following shoulder
surgery and his mother's life-threatening illness.

Gray, 35, won his first five contests
as a professional but had lost his previous 14 as he settled into a
career as a journeyman.

Ogogo on the other hand can expect to
grace more iconic venues than Sheffield's Motorpoint Arena and will make
a quick turnaround on the undercard of Lee Purdy's challenge for Devon
Alexander's world welterweight title in Atlantic City on May 18.

Competent start: Ogogo uses his jab to good effect in the opening round against Gray

Competent start: Ogogo uses his jab to good effect in the opening round against Gray

Cameos in Las Vegas also await but the Lowestoft man had to first take care of the durable Gray.

Making his way from his dressing room
to the sound of Churchill's 'We shall fight on the beaches' speech from
1940, Ogogo's white shorts were trimmed with bronze in a nod to his
achievements in London.

Having already been hailed as a
potential cross-over star after a brief appearance on celebrity show
Splash and a regular slot as the face of Subway sandwiches, Ogogo was
given a rapturous reception by the Sheffield crowd.

And he was switched on from the first bell as he made a fast start, landing with a jab and right hook in the opening seconds.

Ended: Ogogo turns away after throwing the punch that sealed his debut victory

Ended: Ogogo turns away after throwing the punch that sealed his debut victory

Gray was content to box on the back foot in the face of fast hands from his younger opponent.

Despite his dominance, even Ogogo will have been surprised to have put Gray to the sword as comprehensively as he did.

The Shropshire man had only been
stopped twice previously but was sent crashing to the canvas after two
minutes of the second session before the contest was waved off by the
referee.

'That was great fun,' Ogogo said. 'The atmosphere was brilliant and I can't wait to get back out there. I love boxing!

'I'm not going to get carried away as I'm a million miles away from the top, but that was a statement of intent.'

Steven Gerrard to be sidelined with shoulder operation – EXCLUSIVE

EXCLUSIVE: Liverpool and England blow with Gerrard set for shoulder op

By
Neil Ashton

PUBLISHED:

21:41 GMT, 23 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:06 GMT, 24 April 2013

Steven Gerrard faces an operation on a shoulder injury that could rule him out of England's friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil.

Sportsmail revealed this morning that the England captain, 32, has been advised to have surgery after Liverpool's final Barclays Premier League game of the season against QPR on May 19.

Gerrard's ongoing problem with his shoulder will come as a massive blow to England's manager, Roy Hodgson, ahead of the two glamour games.

Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard

Blow: Steven Gerrard is expected to miss England's game against Brazil in June with his shoulder injury

He is expected to play in Liverpool's final four games of the season against Newcastle, Everton, Fulham and QPR before using the summer to recover.

The news has since been confirmed by Reds first team coach Mike Marsh.

'It's looking more and more likely that he might require surgery,' Marsh told Liverpoolfc.com.

'He has been playing with a shoulder injury for quite a while now. We'll try to find the right time for him to get it fixed properly.

'It's not ideal timing, it's going to take quite a while for him to heal. It's a funny injury – it's pretty similar to Joe Allen (who has already had surgery which has ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign).

'If it needs repairing, it needs repairing and when he's back fit, he's back fit. There's not much we can do about it.'

If, as expected, he undergoes an operation Gerrard is likely to miss internationals against the Republic of Ireland at Wembley on May 29 and Brazil in Rio de Janeiro on June 2.

England play the Republic of Ireland at Wembley on May 29 and then travel to Rio de Janeiro to play Brazil in the Maracana on June 2.

Hodgson insisted after last month's disappointing draw against Montenegro in the World Cup qualifiers that he would pick his strongest squad for the two friendlies and he wants Gerrard, who has 102 caps, for both matches.

Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard

International duty: Gerrard is still expected to play in Liverpool's remaining four games of the season

England's manager is reluctant to pick young or inexperienced players for the games because he doesn't expect them to be selected for next year's World Cup in Brazil.

Despite Gerrard's commitment to his country, the Liverpool captain has been urged to have the operation at the end of the Premier League season.

Gerrard has played in all 34 games for Liverpool this season and scored nine goals.

He remains a crucial part of Brendan Rodgers' planning and is scheduled to return from the operation in time for pre-season.

Show: The Liverpool skipper is hopeful of being fit for his testimonial at the beginning of August

Show: The Liverpool skipper is hopeful of being fit for his testimonial at the beginning of August

Gerrard also hopes to be fit for his testimonial game against Olympiakos, which has been scheduled for August 3 at Anfield.

Hodgson already has an eye on the end-of-season fixtures and sent his assistant Ray Lewington to Old Trafford on Monday to watch a number of players.

Rio Ferdinand was a substitute for Manchester United as they beat Aston Villa and secured the Barclays Premier League title.

Road to Rio: Roy Hodgson could hand Ferdinand a recall to the England setup despite turning his back on his country

Road to Rio: Roy Hodgson could hand Ferdinand a recall to the England setup despite turning his back on his country

Ferdinand turned his back on his country last month and went to Qatar to work as an analyst for Al Jazeera.

Incredibly, Hodgson is preparing to offer the Manchester United defender another chance to resume his England career next month.

Brendan Rodgers says Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy"s performance was the best he"s ever seen

McCarthy for England: Reading keeper's performance the best ever, says Rodgers

By
Riath Al-samarrai

PUBLISHED:

21:00 GMT, 14 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:57 GMT, 15 April 2013

At least there is hope, and failing that the prospect of receiving a hefty transfer fee.

Reading looked just about ready for the Championship on Saturday with the exception of a stand-in goalkeeper whose remarkable performance drew statements that were grand even by Brendan Rodgers’ standards.

Initially, the Liverpool manager said Alex McCarthy should be in contention for England; then he went as far as to describe his efforts in the 0-0 draw amounted to the best display of goalkeeping he had ever seen.

Scroll down for highlights from the Madejski…

England contention: Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (right) produced a stunning display between the sticks for the doomed club

England contention: Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (right) produced a stunning display between the sticks for the doomed club

Not many at the Madejski Stadium disagreed. His 10 saves, especially those that stopped Daniel Sturridge in the first half and Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez in the second, looked out of place in a doomed side capable of coughing up so many chances.

Best ever: Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers said it was the best goalkeeping performance he'd ever seen

Best ever: Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers said it was the best goalkeeping performance he'd ever seen

It’s anyone’s guess what impact he might have made on the club’s season had he not missed the past five months with a shoulder injury sustained when he collided with a goalpost against QPR in November.

None of this would have been a surprise to Rodgers, who oversaw Reading’s youth department and later managed the first team when the 23-year-old was coming through the ranks. He said: ‘Reading have always produced good goalkeepers and Alex is one who is next in line for me, he really is a top goalkeeper.

‘I was aware of him just before I left [as youth coach], and when I came back as manager he was still young. Goalkeepers need that experience so he went out on loan but he was always one that the guys here felt was going to be a top goalkeeper and you saw today that he has all the qualities to succeed.’

Having spent time on loan at Woking, Team Bath and Cambridge United, among other sides like Ipswich and Leeds, McCarthy only got selected after Adam Federici aggravated his ankle injury.

Asked if it was the best goalkeeping performance he had seen, Rodgers added: ‘Yes. I was sat in the changing room with the staff and said I couldn’t remember being at a game where a goalkeeper has made a performance like that, either as a manager, coach or spectator.

Attributes: Rodgers, who managed McCarthy when he was Reading boss, says the goalkeeper has all the tools to be one of the best

Attributes: Rodgers, who managed McCarthy when he was Reading boss, says the goalkeeper has all the tools to be one of the best

‘Normally goalkeepers make one or two saves that make a difference, but he made an incredible number of saves and when he was beat it was cleared off the line. It was a brilliant goalkeeping performance.’

Reading manager Nigel Adkins said: ‘We have some excellent goalkeepers. We have Stuart Taylor, Adam Federici, Alex McCarthy, Mikkel Anderson.

‘They are out there and have good competition for places which is important. Alex had been out for a long time, but had the opportunity and made some great saves. Now we have to ensure there is a consistency in his game.’

Frustrated: Liverpool had to settle for a second successive goalless draw

Frustrated: Liverpool had to settle for a second successive goalless draw

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Joe Allen wants shoulder surgery out of the way to return fully fit for Liverpool next season

No more stalling! Allen wants shoulder operation out of the way to help drive Liverpool forward next season

By
Simon Stone, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

18:42 GMT, 12 March 2013

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UPDATED:

19:17 GMT, 12 March 2013

Joe Allen is keen to get his shoulder operation done with so he can be fully fit for the start of next season.

The midfielder will be in Chris Coleman's Wales squad for the World Cup qualifiers with Scotland and Croatia when it is unveiled tomorrow.

However, the Liverpool man is facing an extended period on the sidelines at some point after discovering a recurrence of an old shoulder injury had deteriorated to the point where further surgery is required.

Open door: Liverpool's Joe Allen, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season, at the Astra production line today

Open door: Liverpool's Joe Allen,who is already looking forward the new season, at the Astra production line today

Speaking on a tour of the Ellesmere Port car plant of Wales team sponsors Vauxhall, Allen said: “It is something that needs sorting out.

'I had an operation a few years ago and unfortunately it is a recurrence.

'It has slowly deteriorated to the point where an operation is the only thing that can solve it.'

Liverpool will decide when Allen has surgery, which the 22-year-old estimates will keep him out for three months.

'I can play on, but it is all about the timing because I will be out for three months,” he said.

'Obviously, I don't want to miss the start of next season if I can but we will see what the club have planned because it is a reasonably long lay-off.'

With the Reds back in the running for a European place following Sunday's victory over Tottenham, Brendan Rodgers might be loath to lose Allen at this stage.

Injury: Brendan Rodgers confirmed that midfielder Joe Allen will undergo surgery

Injury: Brendan Rodgers today confirmed that midfielder Joe Allen will undergo surgery

Equally, the former Swansea man would benefit from a full pre-season at Anfield, given he did not join the Merseyside giants until after his Olympic commitments with Team GB.

And next week he will be fully focused on Wales anyway, as they look to build on an encouraging win over Austria last month by completing a World Cup double over Scotland on Friday.

That initial victory over the Scots in October effectively signalled the end of Craig Levein's reign.

It also marked the climax of a tortuous period for new Wales boss Chris Coleman, who had struggled to maintain the improvements made under Gary Speed.'These things take time,' said Allen.

'It was a difficult period for everyone in Welsh football but recent performances and results show we are moving in the right direction.

Shoulder-to-shoulder: Joe Allen came on as a sub against Tottenham on Sunday, where he came up against Wales international colleague Gareth Bale

Shoulder-to-shoulder: Joe Allen came up against Wales international colleague Gareth Bale on Saturday

'We have always had the talent and ability that's for sure.

'Now we are getting to the stage where we are benefiting from past experiences and we are ready to take it to the next level.'

Joe Allen was speaking on a tour of the Ellesmere Port car plant of Wales team sponsors Vauxhall. For more information go to www.vauxhall.co.uk

Luis Suarez posts picture with a snowman

Having fun Luis Diving charges may be snow joke but Suarez gave them the cold shoulder as he enjoyed the wintry weather

By
Sunni Upal

PUBLISHED:

18:32 GMT, 18 January 2013

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UPDATED:

18:44 GMT, 18 January 2013

Despite the recent handball ‘cheat’ claims and the self-confessed diving storm, Liverpool striker Luis Suarez showed things are still all white in his world.

The Reds star Kopped it from his manager yesterday but he gave the critics the cold shoulder today as he posted this picture of him enjoying England’s wintry weather.

While Liverpool’s impeding charges for diving against the striker may be snow joke, at least the Uruguayan was able to enjoy himself ahead of Liverpool’s match against Norwich tomorrow.

Ice cool: Liverpool striker Luis Suarez poses with a snowman

Ice cool: Liverpool striker Luis Suarez poses with a snowman

Suarez recently admitted to falling in an attempt to win a penalty in a Premier League match against Stoke this season, a confession that landed him in hot water with manager Brendan Rodgers.

It was wrong to say what he said,’ said Rodgers. ‘It was not acceptable. This club has always kept its matters in house and that’s what we will do. But diving is not something we advocate here.’

He added: ‘I’ve spoken to Luis on it. I’m not sure it makes a big difference if we are saying he is fined one week’s, two weeks’ or four weeks’ wages.

‘This is a big club, bigger than anyone and whatever people say goes around the world. It certainly doesn’t help him but, more importantly, it doesn’t help the team.’

Suarez may be ice cool today but let's hope he warms up properly tomorrow.

Fun: Suarez and his manager Brendan Rodgers looking relaxed at Liverpool's Melwood training ground

Fun: Suarez and his manager Brendan Rodgers looking relaxed at Liverpool's Melwood training ground

Prolific: Suarez has scored 15 league goals this season

Prolific: Suarez has scored 15 league goals this season

Saracens 32 Sale 12: David Strettle stars to storm back into England reckoning

Saracens 32 Sale 12: Strettle stars for Sarries to storm back into England reckoning

By
Rob Wildman

PUBLISHED:

18:25 GMT, 6 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:44 GMT, 6 January 2013

Forgotten wing David Strettle fired Saracens to success over struggling Sale in the absence of England full back Alex Goode, who is now an injury doubt for the Six Nations.

Goode missed Saracens’ final Aviva Premiership match at Vicarage Road with a shoulder injury picked up three weeks ago against Munster.

Mark McCall, Saracens director of rugby, said Goode needs another two or three weeks of rehabilitation before he is likely to play again.

ar: Strettle scores Saracens' first try

Star: Strettle scores Saracens' first try

He said: ‘At the minute we are looking at the non-surgical route but it all depends on how his rehab goes.

‘If he makes the progress they (the
medics) hope, he’s got a great chance of making the Six Nations, but
England may want him to play a game or two.’

Goode could yet be joined in the England squad by Strettle, who lost his place last summer due to a hernia operation.

Owen Farrell is favourite for England's no.10 shirt after Flood was cited for an alleged tip tackle

Spot on: Owen Farrell is favourite for England's no.10 shirt after Toby Flood was cited for an alleged tip tackle

ENGLAND WATCH

Stuart Lancaster has no worries about the goal-kicking of Owen Farrell, who scored 22 points.

Eight from eight kicks took his Premiership ‘hot streak’ to 20.

He also weathered the attempts of Sale’s heavyweight centres Johnny Leota and Sam Tuitupou to power past him.

England centre Brad Barritt had another solid match and provided the pass for David Strettle’s try.

McCall hopes his decision to switch Strettle to the left wing might prompt a return to the squad to be announced on Wednesday.

McCall said: ‘David has really
relished the chance to play on the left wing and England don’t have any
out-and-out natural left wingers.’

Strettle showed his try-scoring
ability here by breaking through a stubborn Sale defence in the 62nd
minute of a match dominated until then by the goal-kicking of Owen
Farrell and Danny Cipriani.

Saracens finally cracked the Sale
midfield by using Farrell and substitute Charlie Hodgson as decoy
runners, which allowed Brad Barritt to put Strettle in the clear.

Sale's James Gaskell tries to break through the midfield

Scrap: Sale's James Gaskell tries to break through the midfield

Strettle also delivered the final act
by neatly placing a grubber kick through the Sale defence for Hodgson
to score the second try 10 minutes from time.

Saracens moved second, two points behind Harlequins.

London Welsh 15 London Irish 9: Gordon Ross seals points for Welsh as red card mars dire game

London Welsh 15 London Irish 9: Ross seals points for Welsh as red card mars dire game

PUBLISHED:

17:59 GMT, 1 December 2012

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UPDATED:

17:59 GMT, 1 December 2012

London Welsh claimed victory over basement rivals London Irish at the Kassam Stadium.

However the game was ruined as a contest by the early dismissal of number eight Chris Hala'ufia which resulted in the visitors having to play 70 minutes with 14 men.

The match was a dreadful spectacle with neither side having any attacking invention to break down the opposition's defence and it was left to Gordon Ross to secure victory for his side with five penalty goals.

No way through: London Irish's Sailosi Taicakibau is tackled

No way through: London Irish's Sailosi Taicakibau is tackled

London Welsh took a fifth minute lead when Ross kicked his first penalty after Irish were penalised for dragging down a lineout drive.

Almost immediately, Welsh suffered a big blow when influential centre Hudson Tonga'uiha left the field with what appeared to be a serious shoulder injury.

Irish had their first opportunity for points but Ian Humphreys was narrowly short with his 45-metre penalty attempt.

On the march: London Welsh's Tyson Keates drives forward

On the march: London Welsh's Tyson Keates drives forward

The visitors then suffered a huge set back when Hala'ufia was sent off for a dangerous tip tackle on Welsh replacement Seb Jewell.

The referee JP Doyle sought the advice of his touch judge before issuing a red card.

Hala'ufia expressed his regret by immediately walking over to the uninjured Jewell to shake his hand but the damage was already done.

Flying high: London Welsh's Jonathan Mills rises to take the ball

Flying high: London Welsh's Jonathan Mills rises to take the ball

The resulting penalty was kicked by Ross.

With 15 minutes gone, Irish were again penalised to enable Ross to kick his third penalty to give his side a handy 9-0 advantage.

Tom Homer put Irish on the scoreboard with a penalty before the visitors were given further hope when Humphreys kicked another.

When Matt Garvey carelessly lost possession, Irish again offended for Ross to be on target.

With two minutes of the half remaining, Homer had the opportunity to reduce the arrears but his kick from just inside his own half sailed narrowly wide to leave Welsh deservedly ahead 12-6 at the interval.

Irish introduced Halani Aulika at prop for the second half and were unlucky not to get the first points of the half when Humphrey's penalty rebounded back off a post.

The visitors' woes continued when flanker Garvey was sent to the sin bin for a deliberate offside before Humphreys again missed with another penalty attempt.

Playing against 13 men, Welsh blew their best chance.

Tom Arscott neatly chipped through for Nick Scott to run on to. The wing was first to the ball and booted it over the try line but somehow Tyson Keates failed to secure the easy touchdown.

Full stretch: Matt Garvey of London Irish bursts through

Full stretch: Matt Garvey of London Irish bursts through

Garvey returned with no damage to the score line but once again Irish offended at the line out to allow a kick from Ross to scrape over via the crossbar.

Homer missed with a long range penalty but fifteen minutes from time succeeded with another as the spirited Irish raised their game.

When Sonny Parker was yellow carded for a deliberate offside with 10 minutes to go, Irish scented an unlikely win but Welsh hung on.

Norwich complain over alleged racial abuse at Sebastien Bassong

Norwich use Twitter grabs in complaint to police over alleged racist abuse aimed at Bassong

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UPDATED:

18:31 GMT, 26 November 2012

Norwich have made a formal complaint to police over alleged racist tweets directed at defender Sebastien Bassong.

The Canaries confirmed they had passed on evidence to Norfolk Constabulary which was supplied to them by supporters in the wake of Saturday's Barclays Premier League draw at Everton.

It is understood Norwich have sent police screen-grabs of tweets that have since been deleted from Twitter accounts that no longer exist.

Levelling up: Sebastien Bassong earns a point for Norwich with his late goal

Levelling up: Sebastien Bassong earns a point for Norwich with his late goal

Manager Chris Hughton told a press
conference today it was 'hugely disappointing' to learn of the alleged
abuse of Bassong, who scored a stoppage-time equaliser in the 1-1 draw
at Goodison Park.

He added of the tweets: 'We have taken the appropriate action and passed them on to police.'

The alleged racist abuse of Bassong
took place almost a year to the day that Norwich reported similar tweets
directed at former Everton striker James Vaughan.

Bassong's goal at Goodison extended
the Canaries' unbeaten run to seven matches in all competitions ahead of
Wednesday's trip to Southampton, which is followed by games against
Sunderland, Swansea, Aston Villa and Wigan.

Hughton's men will be confident of
maintaining their good form, although the settled line-up could be
disrupted by injuries to John Ruddy and Michael Turner.

Hughton confirmed Turner would be out
for 'a few weeks' with the shoulder injury that kept him out of the
Everton game, which saw Ruddy substituted late on with a thigh problem.

Heading for a draw: Bassong was allegedly racially abused on Twitter

Heading for a draw: Bassong was allegedly racially abused on Twitter

If Ruddy fails to recover, Mark Bunn will make his first Premier League start for the club.

After an awful start to the season, Southampton have hauled themselves out of the drop zone with back-to-back wins.

Hughton said: 'They have been playing well and come into it on the back of two great wins, so we know that it will be tough.

'We are also on a good run of results and need to maintain our recent high standards on Wednesday evening.'

Wednesday's match also heralds the return of Mark Clattenburg to refereeing following the dismissal of allegations he racially abused Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel.

The 37-year-old was the fourth official in Tottenham's win over West Ham yesterday but Wednesday will mark a month since he was last the man in the middle.

Hughton said: 'I think he will get a good reception.

'I, for one, am certainly pleased he is back after all that happened.'

Charlie Sharples admits Chris Ashton could steal his England spot

Sharples admits Ashton could steal his spot on England's wing despite Fiji brace

|

UPDATED:

23:00 GMT, 11 November 2012

Charlie Sharples fears that he could lose out to Chris Ashton next Saturday, despite having scored two tries against Fiji.

The possible return of Ashton, following a one-match ban for picking up three yellow cards this season, is one of the big selection posers facing England’s head coach Stuart Lancaster.

If Ashton returns in his normal right-wing place, that would leave the 23-year-old Sharples competing for the left-wing spot alongside Ugo Monye.

Man in the middle: Charlie Sharples celebrates scoring his first try against Fiji on Saturday

Man in the middle: Charlie Sharples celebrates scoring his first try against Fiji on Saturday

But the Gloucester wing looked delighted that an effective third appearance for England had made him a contender for further honours this autumn. He needed to stake his claim after missing out on England’s summer tour to South Africa because of a shoulder operation.

His tricky running and power, as demonstrated by his first try, showed he is fully recovered from the injury.

Sharples explained: ‘I wasn’t expecting after one good performance to push Ashie out.

‘It’s the same if I had played 10 good games in a row for Gloucester.

Predator: Sharples (centre) bagged two tries against Fiji but could yet lose his place next week

Predator: Sharples (centre) bagged two tries against Fiji but could yet lose his place next week

‘If someone else came in at Gloucester if I was injured, had a good game and took the shirt off me, I would be pretty gutted. I’m well aware that it takes more than one good performance to gain the shirt.

‘My goal going into the match was to put my best foot forward and to raise a few questions for the coaches. I’m just glad that the game went well.’

Sharples left Twickenham with a bump on his head and disappointment that he missed out on a third try, failing to touch down his own kick ahead near the end of the first half.

‘We left a couple of tries begging out there,’ he admitted. ‘That’s something you learn in the Premiership — you have to take your chances. Luckily, we took the majority of them.’

Richard Dunne ready to return to training

Dunne gives Lambert boost as defender set to return to Villa training after five months out

|

UPDATED:

23:57 GMT, 5 November 2012

Central defender Richard Dunne has given injury-hit Aston Villa a boost by returning to training after five months out of action with a groin problem.

The Republic of Ireland international initially suffered the setback during Euro 2012.

Dunne has undergone two operations to try and resolve the groin injury and has finally received the green light to step up his fitness work.

Return: Richard Dunne is ready to return to training for Aston Villa

Return: Richard Dunne is ready to return to training for Aston Villa

But Villa boss Paul Lambert is unsure when Dunne, signed from Manchester City in a 6 million deal four years ago, will be ready for a first team recall.

He said: 'Richard is back in training and it's his first time since the European Championships really.

'Will he be back soon I'm not sure really because he's got to get up to speed with training and get some games under his belt.

'He's still a wee bit away.'

Dunne has endured a nightmare time with injuries during 2012 and missed the final three months of last season with a broken shoulder.

But he insisted: 'The last operation I had seems to have really worked.

'I've been lucky not to have too many injuries during my career but it's been several months where I've not been fit.'

Layoff: Dunne spent five months on the sidelines with a groin injury

Layoff: Dunne spent five months on the sidelines with a groin injury

Boost: Paul Lambert (left) will have more defensive options when the former Manchester City defender returns

Boost: Paul Lambert (left) will have more defensive options when the former Manchester City defender returns