Cuellar in fitness race
Villa defender sets sights on opener at Fulham
Last Updated: July 3, 2011 4:13pm
Cuellar: Pleased with how his recovery is progressing
Aston Villa defender Carlos Cuellar is hopeful of being fit in time for the start of the new season.
The 29-year-old is one of the few Villa players to have met new boss Alex McLeish as he has been reporting to the club's Bodymoor Heath training ground during the summer break to recover from an ankle injury.
Cuellar is set to see out the final year of his contract at Villa Park with former club Rangers having had a £1.5million bid turned down.
The Spaniard could be back in light training by the time the rest of the squad returns for pre-season next Friday and he is eager to be firing on all cylinders come 13th August.
"The recovery is going well, I'm gaining strength and in a couple weeks I'll be training with the team," he told the Birmingham Mail.
"If there is no complication I'll be ready for the first game away at Fulham. I hope we have a better season this year."
Last term Cuellar was often overlooked by former boss Gerard Houllier and he made just 16 appearances in all competitions.
Niggling injuries at the start and end of the campaign also played a part but Cuellar is keen to put those behind him and impress new manager McLeish with Ciaran Clark, Richard Dunne and James Collins also fighting for a central defensive berth.