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Shay Given Back In Training

According to the inimitable Jack Woodward, Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given has returned to training more than a month after suffering an injury against Manchester United. No word on when he's expected to be fit and ready for action, but we'll likely know more later today; I'd personally be shocked if he's in goal this weekend but I'm also not a physio, nor have I ever even met Shay Given let alone examined him. It would be pretty weird if I had, though.

It's safe to say that once Given returns, Brad Guzan's time as Villa's starting keeper will be at an end. Guzan did very well for himself while given the opportunity, making some excellent saves and making only one major error so far as I can recall. He's not on Given's level, but he's clearly good enough to be starting for a top flight club somewhere. It will be interesting to see how this progresses; Guzan had a spell on loan with Hull City last season, but after the way he's performed this past month there will almost certainly be some interest from teams looking to bring him in on a permanent deal. If Villa can secure a replacement for an affordable sum, it's entirely possible we might see him leave. But with Shay Given being just a few months shy of his 36th birthday and not exactly having the cleanest injury history, Alex McLeish may well decide it's just not worth the risk.

In any case, as well as Guzan performed it will be nice to have Shay Given back. He was one of the few bright spots of the first half of the season, and having good, healthy players is certainly preferable to having good, injured players.