McLeish backs Bent for Euros

Bent could return with another 'two or three weeks' training'

Darren Bent: The striker has not played since February after rupturing ankle ligaments

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Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish believes striker Darren Bent could make England's Euro 2012 squad.

It is understood that Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson is giving the 28-year-old every chance to prove himself fit for this summer's tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

Bent has not played since February after rupturing ankle ligaments in his left foot, but has stepped up his rehabilitation work in recent weeks.

The former Tottenham and Sunderland forward received a second visit from England physiotherapist Gary Lewin at Villa's training complex, Bodymoor Heath, earlier in the week.

And McLeish insists Bent has given himself every chance of making the 23-man squad with England's first match against France on 11th June in Donetsk.

McLeish said: "Darren is working hard and training well. He's not joined the group yet. It's important that Darren gets a good summer behind him and regroups for the start of next season.

"He has come through a lot and he's at a good stage just now. He's enjoying his one-on-ones with the physios, he's working really hard.

"It seems at this moment that, with another two or three weeks' training, he could be fine and available, put it that way."

Alex McLeish on Darren Bent

Quotes of the week

"Can he make the Euros? Roy Hodgson would have a better idea. If there were six weeks of the season to go, he'd certainly be back within those six weeks.

"But whether he goes to the Euros would be Roy's decision. It seems at this moment that, with another two or three weeks' training, he could be fine and available, put it that way."

McLeish admits the absence of Bent has been a massive blow for Villa.

He said: "I think it's 19 games the big fellow has missed. God knows how many goals he'd have got us and maybe have taken us into a little comfort zone.

"Hopefully he makes a full recovery in the summer and he's ready all guns blazing for next season."