Premier League

Aston Villa defender Richard Dunne is confident he will return to training this month

Richard Dunne: Aiming to return to training shortly

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Aston Villa defender Richard Dunne is confident he will return to training in two weeks following his second operation on his long-term groin problem.

Dunne has been sidelined since initially suffering the setback with the Republic of Ireland during their Euro 2012 campaign and has not played since.

But the 33-year-old centre-back, who is in the final year of his Villa contract, reckons he is closing in on a return.

"The last operation I had seems to have really worked so I'm hopeful that I'll be back soon," Dunne said.

"I've set a few targets but I keep missing them. It's frustrating when I can do all the running and the rehab but not the final bit.

"But I'm hoping - fingers crossed - that I can start training in a couple of weeks. I've got to see the doctor and from there, hopefully it will be the all clear."