Stephen Ireland wants quick return

Ireland wants quick return
© PA Photos
Stephen Ireland targets a first-team spot at Aston Villa after returning from injury.

Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland has insisted that he is closing on a return to first-team action, despite admitting that his arm is still broken.

The 26-year-old picked up the injury against Southampton last month, but returned last weekend from the substitutes' bench. However, he has vowed to win a starting spot back in the side.

"I played against Fulham so hopefully I'm back for good now. They said the recovery would be six weeks, but after three and a half I could play with a temporary cast, so I'm doing that," he told Sky Sports News.

"It's still broken, but they've said I can play. It's not quite pain free, but it's enough so that I can play and I don't want to be out any longer, so I'm happy to do that even if it is a bit uncomfortable.

"I still feel a lot of pain with it and I'm conscious of it but I just want to play as much as I can. I'd rather play through the pain than not play at all because I really want to be in the team as much as I can this year."

Ireland joined Villa from Manchester City in 2010.

Roberto Mancini
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