Football - Bent close to fitness

Aston Villa striker Darren Bent is nearing a return to full fitness ahead of the visit of Fulham on Saturday.

PA Sport

Bent made a brief appearance from the bench last weekend in the 3-1 win over Stoke at the Britannia Stadium, but is still short of match sharpness.

Manager Paul Lambert is also keeping an eye on the fitness of defender Ciaran Clark, He is back on the training ground following a shoulder injury while on international duty for the Republic of Ireland, and providing he suffers no reaction could feature in the travelling squad. Defender Chris Herd and winger Marc Albrighton (both foot) plus defender Richard Dunne (groin) remain on the casualty list.

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