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By ESPN Staff

Bent fit for Villa opener

Aston Villa striker Darren Bent has recovered from the shoulder problem which had ruled him out of England's postponed midweek game with Holland at Wembley.

Bent is available for Villa's Premier League opener with Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday.The striker scored nine goals in 16 matches after his club record £18 million move from Sunderland in January and established himself as a first choice player for his country.

Villa boss Alex McLeish has a virtual clean bill of health for his first competitive game in charge since replacing Gerard Houllier in June. Central defender James Collins has also overcome the back injury which prompted his withdrawal from the Welsh squad to face Australia last night.

Midfielder Fabian Delph is also in contention after a series of injury setbacks during the past two years, including ankle surgery at the end of last season. Defender Carlos Cuellar (knee) is the only absentee through injury.

McLeish said: "At this moment there are no injuries to shout about. We have almost everyone available. There is no-one on the treatment table.

"Bent is fine with his shoulder. Collins was struggling with his back but the doctor injected him and took some blood out of a lump at the base of his back.

"He was in a lot of discomfort and it was right he should pull out of the mid-week game for his country. But we believe he will be ready for the weekend.''


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