Bent back for Villa

Five players could be back in contention for Wigan clash

Bent: Thumbs up for the striker who is expected to return on Saturday

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Aston Villa have received a huge boost with the news that striker Darren Bent has returned from injury.

Manager Alex McLeish is expected to also welcome back four other star players, including Emile Heskey and Tottenham loanee Jermaine Jenas.

Bent, who missed the club's 1-1 draw against QPR at the weekend due to a groin problem is in line to return for Saturday's home game against Wigan, while Heskey, who has been suffering with a hamstring injury should also make his comeback.

The Scot also expects Jenas to make his long-awaited debut after picking up a kicking strain the day before Villa's opening day stalemate at Fulham.

Ciaran Clark (knee) should also come into contention along with fellow defender Carlos Cuellar, who is back in training after undergoing a knee operation at the back end of last season.

Good news

McLeish told the club's official website: "Darren trained today which is good news. The injury wasn't as bad as first feared so it will be good to get him back in action and unleash him again.

"Emile will train later this week with the group. He has already started preliminary training but he will be with us when we are preparing for the weekend game so he will be available.

"The good news on Jermaine is that he started training yesterday and he had a good session.

"He had another good session today and looked very lively and he is ready to go as well.

"James played through the pain barrier and was hobbling about a wee bit at the end of the QPR game but he is one of these that will run through brick walls.

"We feared the worst afterwards but the scan was good and there was nothing broken.

"He has suffered severe bruising and his ankle is a little bit swollen but we think he might make it at the weekend.

"Ciaran Clark is another one who will join us later and will be available for the weekend."