Delph happy to take the knocks
Midfielder glad to be in the thick of it after ankle injury
Last Updated: July 24, 2012 1:19pm
Fabian Delph: Enjoying pre-season after fitness problems.
Fabian Delph is happy to be getting kicked again after returning to action from another long injury lay-off.
Fitness problems have hampered the 21-year-old since his £6million move to Aston Villa from Leeds three years ago. A ruptured cruciate ligament ended his first season in the Midlands, but after recovering from that the midfielder required ankle surgery in 2011.
A loan spell with Leeds early in 2012 was cut short by another ankle injury, and so far he has only made 26 league appearances for Villa.
However Delph has been back in action on Villa's pre-season visit to the United States, and he's grateful to be playing even with the risks of taking further knocks.
"It's the best feeling ever, I love it. It's easy to watch a game of football and say 'I could be there', 'I could be doing this' - everybody does it," said Delph.
"But as soon as you get involved and you're running about again, that's when it gets you.
"Sometimes as you're regaining your fitness you'll feel like you're going to be sick and you'll just get through it.
"It's just nice to come off a pitch knowing that you've been kicked and you've actually been in a game or a competitive training session."
Delph, who captained Villa in their friendly win over Chicago Fire, is impressed by the methods of his Paul Lambert, his third manager since moving to Villa Park.
"This is definitely the best that I've been involved in. Everything is football based, most of the running is with a football. At my age I didn't expect the captaincy the other night, but it was an absolute honour.
"As soon I was given it, I was delighted and wanted to step up and do well.
"Confidence is massive in football as everyone knows and me being skipper has given me a little bit of a spring in my step."