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Darren Bent may target Olympics place


Aston Villa striker Darren Bent has undergone successful surgery on his ruptured ankle ligaments - and can now set his sights on trying to be part of Great Britain's Olympic squad.

Bent's hopes of playing for England during the Euro 2012 finals were shattered when he suffered the setback against Wigan at the DW Stadium 10 days ago.

But the positive news about his operation in London last night is that Bent will be able to resume full training in early June, leaving enough time to prove his fitness for the Olympics.

The 28-year-old is one of three over-age Villa players included on Team GB Olympic football coach Stuart Pearce's provisional long-list of players for the tournament.

A Villa statement released last night read: "Darren Bent underwent surgery in a London clinic to repair ruptured ligaments in his left ankle.

"The operation was a complete success and it is expected that Darren will be able to resume full training in around 12 weeks."

Club record signing Bent, who joined from Sunderland in an £18 million deal, is Villa's leading scorer with 10 goals during the campaign.

He had been hoping to play in his first major tournament for his country in Poland and Ukraine after missing out on selection for the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, while England did not quality for Euro 2008.

But not being involved in Euro 2012 means he can now come under serious consideration for the Olympics.

Villa's other two over-age players are Scotland full-back Alan Hutton and Wales central defender James Collins, who were among those sent letters notifying them they are under consideration by Pearce.