Benteke nearing Villa return

Christian Benteke is close to making his return to action for Aston Villa after tearing his Achilles tendon back in April.

The Belgium international made an impressive start to life in the Premier League, scoring 19 goals in 34 appearances for the club in 2012-13.

His second season was cut short, however, when he suffered the injury, causing him to miss Villa's final seven matches of the campaign.

The 23-year-old also missed the World Cup in Brazil, but manager Paul Lambert is looking to introduce him back to the fold in the near future.

When quizzed on a potential return for Benteke at Chelsea on Saturday, the Scot said: "I'm not sure if that one might be a bit early.

"But you're looking not too far after that I think. He has trained this past week with no ill effects. He will train again this week.

"We will see how he is. But he's not too far now."

Villa have coped well in Benteke's absence this season, taking 10 points from five games, though they were beaten 3-0 at home by Arsenal on Saturday.