Date: 13th December 2010 at 4:42pm
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Stiliyan Petrov has talked about returning in time for the Blues clash for a while, but as the game edges closer his recovery is well on track for him to be involved.

Club Captain Petrov told the Official Site that his knee injury has been one of the most painful periods of his career, but he is now due to return to full training in little over a fortnight.

‘My knee is well and truly on the mend, I’ve really stepped up my work rate recently and I’m looking to be back in training within the next couple of weeks. With a bit of luck, I will be back for the derby away at Birmingham in mid January.’

Petrov knows that returning to training is only the first hurdle he needs to over come, the second is reclaiming his place given our youngsters have done more than enough to show they are in contention for the midfield spots.

‘It’s been a painful experience for me. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that everything continues to go well with my recovery, then it’s a case of trying to reclaim my place and helping Villa climb the table.’

What is certain is that Petrov’s experience will be an asset with the younger players and he has a job to do when he returns. One of the reasons our midfield with Clark, Hogg, and Bannan struggles is simply lack of experience and organisation positionally. Given a Reo back, or a Petrov back not only does it give the young lads a break to work in training on the parts of the game they need to improve on, but having that experience on the pitch alongside them will help to organise them better.

Going to be interesting to see the team sheet when everybody is fit.

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