Vlaar warns Okore

Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar has said that fellow defender Jores Okore should not be rushed back into action.

The 21-year-old centre-back is on his way to full recovery from a cruciate ligament injury that he suffered in September.

The Denmark international was initially expected to be out for nine months, but he could now be back on the pitch in March.

Vlaar is pleased with Okore's progress, but has warned his team-mate of the pitfalls of making a return before fully recovering.

"He's working really hard to get back and it seems to be going really well," the Birmingham Mail quotes the 29-year-old as saying.

"It will be great when he comes back because we need everybody. It's not been easy for him to come to Aston Villa and then to get such a big injury and to be out for almost all the season.

''You never know how long it can take. I know it took me longer to come back, so if he's back next month that will be great. Of course we all look forward to having him back.

"He's in every day, ever since he started to recover. It's not always been easy for him but he works really hard, his spirit is really good. He's always happy.

"Of course he will have his hard moments but if he needs us, we try to be there for him and try to help him as much as we can.

"He has only played a few games but it is really important not to rush him back. He has to be 100 per cent fit and then we will see how he is when he gets back."