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Sep 26, 2013

Villa optimistic of early Benteke return

Paul Lambert is hopeful Christian Benteke will be able to return to action at Aston Villa quicker than doctors first indicated.

Christian Benteke celebrates after levelling at Chelsea
Benetke's goals helped save Villa from relegation last season.

Hughes: Villa must move on

Benteke was told to expect to be out of action for up to six weeks, after damaging a hip flexor muscle in last Saturday's 1-0 victory over Norwich City.

on Thursday, the Belgian international wrote on his twitter account he is walking much better and without the need for crutches -- and Lambert is hopeful the striker will be back in action for Villa after the international break next month.

Benteke will miss Belgium's final two qualifiers against Czech Republic and Wales -- but Lambert is looking at the fixture against Tottenham on October 20 as the return date for the 22-year-old.

"He is doing great. I think he will be back quicker. We will have to wait and see. We have two games before the international break, which has probably come at the right time for us," Lambert said.

"The worst scenario was that he was going to be out for a considerable period of time, but the way he is progressing, everybody is pretty happy with him."

Lambert feels that a lack of rest may have been a contributing factor to Benteke's injury, given his game-time  for former club Genk, Villa and the Belgian national team.

The Scot said: "He played a lot of games for Genk before he joined us and he never really had that much of a break. The amount of games he has had here and the amount of games for the national team has never really given him that breathing space.

"He never said that he was tired or anything. He just kept going. It is the first time he has been injured since I have been here, but hopefully it is not that bad."

Benteke is one of nine players currently out injured at Villa ahead of Saturday's visit of Manchester City to Villa Park.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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