Dunne back in training with Villa
Soccer:Richard Dunne eased some of the concern over his fitness ahead of Euro 2012 today when he returned to training with Aston Villa, 10 weeks after breaking his collarbone.
Club manager Alex McLeish is confident the Dubliner will be available for the final two games of the season against Tottenham and Norwich, while Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni will be relieved to have one of his key squad members on course for Poland and Ukraine in June.
Dunne, a key member in Ireland’s qualification for the European Championships, has been sidelined since suffering the setback against Manchester City on February 12th.
"It's good news regarding Richard. He has rejoined the group for training,” McLeish said. "If he doesn't make the game at West Brom this weekend, he should be ready for the Tottenham match."
McLeish expects Dunne to be available for instant first-team action rather than having to test out his fitness via the reserves.
He added: "With a guy like Dunnie, and with what the modern day physical trainers and medical people do, the aim is to try and get the player up to speed so he can go straight back into the side.
"There should be plenty of preparation work for Dunnie so he can step straight back in."
Along with captain Robbie Keane, Dunne proved indispensible for Ireland on the road to Poland and Ukraine, with his heroic performance in the 0-0 draw with Russia in Moscow the standout performance of the campaign.
Trapattoni is expected to name his squad for Euro 2012 on May 7th.