Young near return for Aston Villa

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The Independent Online

Aston Villa defender Luke Young is close to full fitness with Martin O'Neill optimistic he will be available for action after the international break.

Young has been sidelined since flying home early from the pre-season Peace Cup tournament in Spain because of a thigh problem.

The right-back was also given compassionate leave by Villa after the death of his half-brother.

But Young has been making good progress and has been pencilled in to play against Wolves in Wednesday's reserve-team clash.

O'Neill told Press Association Sport: "Luke is doing really fine. I would say by the time we come back after the international break he will just be about right.

"There is a reserve game coming up which he would probably would need but he is doing very well indeed.

"There are no ill-effects from the injury and, psychologically, I think he is improving greatly since the death of his half-brother."

Young was one of Villa's most consistent players last season after his £5million move from Middlesbrough even though he played out of position on many occasions at left-back.

But he now faces competition from Habib Beye - signed from Newcastle in the close season - for his place.

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