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Dunne back in training with Aston Villa

Alex McLeish is confident that the Republic of Ireland centre-half will be fit in time for Villa’s final two Premier League games.

Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND’S preparations for Euro 2012 received a welcome boost this morning with the news that Richard Dunne has returned to full training with Aston Villa.

Dunne has been out for over two months since breaking his collarbone against Manchester City on 12 February but could return to action as early as this weekend when Villa travel to West Brom.

If not, the centre-half should be available for the final two games of the league run-in against Tottenham and Norwich, Villa boss Alex McLeish said.

Dunne’s return will ease the concerns voiced by Ireland assistant Marco Tardelli, who said last week that manager Giovanni Trapattoni would not risk bringing the player to the championships if he was less than fully fit.

“It’s good news regarding Richard. He has re-joined the group for training today,” McLeish told the media ahead of Villa’s Premier League match against Bolton tomorrow evening (Sky Sports).

“If he doesn’t make the game at West Brom this weekend, he should be ready for the Tottenham match.

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.

Trapattoni is expected to announce his 23-man squad for the European Championships on Monday 7 May.

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Niall Kelly

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