Villa boss Tim Sherwood has provided a fitness update on his squad ahead of the weekend's trip to Manchester United.
Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has revealed at his pre-match press conference - covered by the club's official website - ahead of Saturday’s trip to Manchester United that Ron Vlaar, Tom Cleverley, Philippe Senderos and Joe Cole are all back in training.
After serving a one-match ban, Vlaar has missed the past four games with a nagging calf problem, while Cole is still to feature under Sherwood due to hamstring issues which have restricted him to just 10 appearances this season.
Senderos, meanwhile, has been more of a long-term absentee, having been sidelined since November after injuring his knee with Switzerland but the trio could now all be in the weekend’s squad.
Tom Cleverley has also recovered from a knock picked up in last month’s 1-0 defeat to Swansea City but the United loanee isn’t eligible to face his parent club on the afternoon.
Nevertheless, Sherwood is delighted to have the other three back in contention, although he stresses that none have been given the all clear to face Louis van Gaal’s side at this point.
"A few of them are medically fit now but physically they are still a little bit behind,” he said. "It's up to me to decide whether to throw them in at Old Trafford or wait for the games coming up.
"There are a few more bodies out on the training field that's for sure. Ron Vlaar is back out there, which is good. Tom Cleverley is back out there which is a Lazarus moment. Joe Cole and Philippe Senderos are training also.
"We are still struggling with a few. But we hope between now and Tuesday and certainly next Saturday that we get a few more bodies fit. It's about not playing them too early and sending them back to square one again."
Sherwood also admits that he was watching the international action over the past week with bated breath, hoping for no new injuries.
"You're holding your breath every time you're watching. You're just praying they are not going to get a knock," he added. "Carlos Sanchez played two 90 minutes for Colombia. Delphy played in two, Christian played in two.
"Alan Hutton went down. I thought he wasn't going to get up bit thankfully he did do. When you're struggling for players - especially in those defensive areas - you're holding your breath that they come back healthy and thankfully they have."