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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 August 2006, 10:28 GMT 11:28 UK
Laursen hits Villa comeback trail
Martin Laursen
A rare sight - Laursen in a Villa shirt
Martin Laursen has begun his latest comeback for Aston Villa after a year on the sidelines with a knee injury.

The central defender, 29, came through 45 minutes of the 3-0 pre-season win over Chasetown without any ill-effects.

The Danish international has been dogged by knee problems since his 3m move from AC Milan two summers ago and has made only 13 appearances for Villa.

"I'm very happy with the workout. I was happy with my performance and most of all, the knee felt good," Laursen said.

"I want people to know how well my knee felt because I was happy with it. I didn't think about making challenges because it didn't hurt. I had no problems playing so I'm happy and satisfied.

"Twisting, turning, heading and clearing - I don't feel any problems with it which is very important. Those are the things that will put pressure on the knee but it felt good.

"We have to see the reaction but I'm not concerned about that because I think I'll be fine.

The next step is to play with the first team and I'm looking forward to that

Martin Laursen

"This was another hurdle I've overcome and it was a big psychological one to play a match. I felt good on the pitch and this was a big thing for me.

"This was a reserve match and the next step is to play with the first team and I'm looking forward to that."

Laursen returned to the club three weeks ago after opting to regain and work on his fitness in Bologna.

"It's been hard work and it's been tough but I'm sure it was the right decision for me to stay away," he added.

"It would have been depressing to watch my team-mates training every day and not being able to participate but it's good now and I'm feeling good."

It was initially thought his career may be in doubt but he began jogging in May and slowly but surely has stepped up his rehabilitation programme.

And he will now hope to be part of Villa's pre-season trip to Holland and Germany, which gets under way at the weekend.

Laursen's return to fitness is a welcome boost for Villa, who have still to make any signings since the end of the 2005-2006 campaign - when they narrowly avoided relegation.

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21 May 04 |  Aston Villa


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