Villa duo step up recovery

Defenders could soon return to first-team

Young: Plays 90 minutes

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Aston Villa pair Luke Young and Wilfred Bouma stepped up their return to full fitness in the reserves.

The duo played in the 1-1 draw with Wolves on Wednesday and both managed to last the full 90 minutes, while winger Michael Kightly played for the opposition and opened the scoring.

Young, 30, was pleased at the standard of the reserve game, especially the high tempo, which he hopes will speed up his recovery.

"It is always nice when you turn up for a reserve game and they've got a few experienced players out there," he said.

"I had a tricky young winger up against me, so that was quite a good workout for me.

"Sometimes reserve-team games can be a little slow in tempo but I don't think Kev (reserve team coach Kevin MacDonald) allows that. My fitness is good and I've been training with Kev quite a lot."

Dutch international Bouma broke his leg early last season, but after 14 months on the sidelines he is beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel.

"I feel everything is coming back which is a wonderful feeling," he told the Birmingham Mail.

"I have to be patient. I have already been training for a couple of weeks and the fitness is coming back.

"Another couple of games and I think hopefully I can give the gaffer a bit more of a problem but we have a big squad now."