Cole back with Villa squad

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has confirmed midfielder Joe Cole has returned to training ahead of next week’s Premier League opener against Stoke.

Cole has only made one appearance for Villa in pre-season following his arrival at the club earlier this summer because of a thigh injury.

Lambert is delighted to have the 32-year-old back with the rest of the squad as he prepares for the trip the Britannia Stadium.

\"He is training now with the group, which is good,\" the Villa manager said.

\"I know he has missed a wee bit but he is back training with the group. Everybody seems to be pretty healthy.\"