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Benteke boost for 2nd place Aston Villa; training, could be back soon

Aston Villa v Norwich City - Premier League

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 02: Christian Benteke of Aston Villa heading the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Norwich City at Villa Park on March 2, 2014 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

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Aston Villa is flying early this season, the Midlands club hanging out where a club of their size likely should: upper end of the table.

Already buoyed by their Anfield win over Liverpool, the Villans and manager Paul Lambert are getting another boost. Striker Christian Benteke is back training, five months after rupturing his achilles tendon.

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Benteke, 23, wasn’t on pace to replicate his massive first season at Villa Park. He scored 23 goals in 39 games in 2012/13, and managed 11 goals in 28 matches last year. But there’s still no doubting what an addition he’d make to Aston Villa’s strike force.

From Sky Sports:

Manager Paul Lambert told the club’s official site: “I’m delighted with the efforts of the medical team here at Villa for working incredibly hard with Christian to get him back to fitness so quickly.

“Christian trained today, though it was a light session. Hopefully, with no effects from that, he’ll train again on Tuesday.

“Obviously, we’ll be monitoring his fitness and we’ll continue to build him up towards a return to the team.”

Their rise up the table has been largely defensive, as goalkeeper Brad Guzan and company have kept three clean sheets through four matches. Their four goals scored is in the bottom half of the league, but their solitary goal allowed is unrivaled (Second-best Stoke and Southampton have allowed three).

Villa will take on Arsenal without Benteke this weekend, but the forward could be back by the end of the month.

Follow @nicholasmendola