Premier League

Bouma thanks team-mates

Defender thankful for advice

Bouma: Thankful

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Aston Villa defender Wilfred Bouma has thanked his team-mates for helping him battle back from injury.

The Dutch international has been out of action since the summer after suffering an horrific dislocated ankle during Villa's participation in the Intertoto Cup.

Bouma has returned to fitness in recent weeks and he featured for the reserves in the 1-0 win over Stoke last Monday.

The full-back admits the support he received from his team-mates was a great source of encouragement for him as he fought to regain fitness.

"When I saw my foot, I thought I would never play football again - I thought my career was over," Bouma told the club's official website.

"Some of the lads here have had big injuries. I have spoken to them and they gave me some good advice. That's been very helpful.

"Curtis Davies and Martin Laursen spoke to me just like the rest of the team. They have supported me."