Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish is set to welcome striker Darren Bent back into the fold against Wigan this weekend.

The England international striker missed the 1-1 draw against QPR on Sunday, but is one of a handful of players back in contention for Saturday's clash with the Latics at Villa Park.

Emile Heskey and Jermaine Jenas are also likely to be available, with the later set to make his debut after impressing on the training ground.

"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," McLeish told the official Aston Villa website.

"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."

The team news continues to be positive in the Villa camp, with James Collins expected to be fit despite struggling through the closing stages of the draw at Loftus Road with an ankle injury.


With Ciaran Clark also back in contention after recovering from a knee injury, McLeish will have a plethora of options at his disposal this weekend.

"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," the Scot continued.

"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."

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