Laursen - Like A New Villa Signing!
How long before the first 'it is like a new signing' quotes come from Villa Park as Martin Laursen steps up his comeback preparations.
The Danish international, who has missed all but one game this season after aggravating the injury he suffered the season before, will be able to start jogging next month. He told the official site:
'Dr Steadman (American knee specialist) has to look at my knee and see if I'm ready to run. I think I am. Then later this month, I will start to run. I have seven weeks to prepare me for the pre-season, which starts on around July 10. I really think I can be ready for that. Then we have to see how my knee will respond and how long it will take to get my fitness back, because obviously after so many months without running, I have a lot of work to do.'
He says he was told it would be a year before he could play in the Premiership again and his target is mid-September adding: 'But we can talk and talk, it all depends how my knee feels and how fast I can get my fitness back.'
He says it has been a difficult time for him but he has remained positive and 'I want to be back playing at the very top level and I am young enough to do that. I still have a lot to prove at Aston Villa and I owe a lot to the manager and to the chairman. They have stood by me when I have hardly played any games and I want to repay that when I return to the Premier League.'
He also says club physio Alan Smith has been 'fantastic'.