McLeish: Bent could make Euro 2012 for England

The Scot reveals that the striker has made a nearly full recovery after successful one-on-one physio training, while also stressing the extent to which Aston Villa have missed him
Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has handed England manager Roy Hodgson some good news by suggesting Darren Bent could be fit for Euro 2012.

The 28-year-old has not played for Villa since February, when he ruptured ankle ligaments in his left foot in a draw with Wigan, and has still not returned to full training.

However, the Villans' boss revealed that the striker's recovery has gone well and that he "could be fine" for this summer's championships, insisting the decision is ultimately Hodgson's.

England manager Roy Hodgson has more options in attack with the news that Darren Bent should be fit for the tournament
McLeish was quoted by Sky Sports as saying: "Darren is working hard and training well. He's not joined the group yet. It's important that Darren gets a good summer behind him and regroups for the start of next season.

"He has come through a lot and he's at a good stage just now. He's enjoying his one-on-ones with the physios, he's working really hard.

"Can he make the Euros? Roy Hodgson would have a better idea. If there were six weeks of the season to go, he'd certainly be back within those six weeks.

"But whether he goes to the Euros would be Roy's decision. It seems at this moment that, with another two or three weeks' training, he could be fine and available, put it that way."

The Midlands' club have struggled to find the net since the forward was ruled out through injury, with the former Tottenham and Sunderland man still their top scorer with nine goals despite his prolonged period on the sidelines.

As a result, Villa had to wait until their penultimate game, a draw with Spurs, to secure Premier League safety.

McLeish admitted Bent's injury was a big blow, while hoping the Englishman returns on top of his form for the next

7/5 Darren Bent is 7/2 to be named in the England squad with bet365
He said: "I think it's 19 games the big fellow has missed. God knows how many goals he'd have got us and maybe have taken us into a little comfort zone.

"Hopefully he makes a full recovery in the summer and he's ready all guns blazing for next season."