Aston Villa skipper Stiliyan Petrov has paid his first visit to the club's training ground since being diagnosed with acute leukaemia and is in "good spirits", according to first-team coach Gordon Cowans.

Petrov has been undergoing regular spells of treatment since first being diagnosed with the illness last month. The midfielder opted to visit Villa's Bodymoor Heath training complex last week and is feeling "positive" about the challenges ahead, according to Cowans.

He said: "Stiliyan was up at the training ground last week, looked really well and was feeling positive about himself. He's got a hard week this week (with treatment) but he is a fighter and will come through this. He was so bubbly and he came in. He took his hat off and has shaved his hair and looked very well. He is very positive he is going to beat the illness."

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