Republic of Ireland international central defender Richard Dunne is set to launch another comeback at Aston Villa next week — after being told to “battle through” his injury problems.
Dunne has been back in Philadelphia this week to see the surgeon who carried out the third operation on his hip and groin since he was injured at the European Championships.
Dunne had been pencilled in to make his first appearance of the season against Newcastle on January 29 but than plan was scrapped when he suffered some discomfort on the morning of the game.
He is due back in England this weekend with Villa manager Paul Lambert optimistic that Dunne can still play a role for the relegation threatened club this season.
The 33-year-old, who has not kicked a ball since the 2-0 defeat against Italy at the Euros, is also aiming to be available for next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria.
Lambert, who hasn’t ruled out handing Dunne a new contract at the end of the season, said: “We will have to wait and see what the surgeon has said about the injury.
“Richard is expected home this weekend and we will follow up on what has been decided. I’m pretty sure he won’t require another operation.
“The advice Richard has been given is that he will just have to battle through the problem. I will have a rough idea of what will happen after hearing exactly what the surgeon has been saying to Richard. The surgeon expected this to happen and the advice was to go back and see him again if it did.
“First and foremost the main thing is to get the guy back to fitness. That is the big thing for me. ”
On the question of a new contract for Dunne, Lambert added: “It is not a case of running out of time. I know what he can do. It is not as if he is 19 or 20 and has to impress. I have an open mind but the main thing for me is that he is going to be fit again.”
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