sport

Villa receive Okore boost

Aston Vila defender Jores Okore is expected to be fit for the start of next season following a long injury lay-off.

The Danish centre-back only joined Villa from Nordsjaelland last summer and played just four times before sustaining knee ligament damage in a game against Newcastle United in September.

He was sidelined for the remainder of the season but did return to training recently and manager Paul Lambert is optimistic that he will be ready to go at the start of the 2014/15 campaign.

"Jores trained towards (the end) of the season for a couple of weeks and was doing great," Lambert said in the Birmingham Mail.

"He'll probably need fitness like anybody else because he's been out a long time."

Libor Kozak is also progressing well from a broken leg he suffered in January, although he will not be pushing for a return quite as early as Okore.

Lambert added: "Libor had his broken leg and is doing well but he's still a wee bit away. So those two are doing really well.

"I think Jores will be okay for the start of the season. Libor we'll have to wait and see."

It is reported that Charles N'Zogbia could be back by August, more than a year since he injured his Achilles, but Christian Benteke is not expected to return until October.