For the second match in a row, Paul Lambert will have what passes for a full-health squad to choose from as his team gets ready to take on Newcastle on Sunday. In perhaps the most shocking development of the year, no one picked up an injury during the team's recent trip to Portugal. Combined with the news that Ron Vlaar is again feeling 100%, this should provide a boost to Villa.
But there is even more encouraging news on the horizon for Lambert's squad, as it seems that Jores Okore is ahead of his scheduled recovery from a ligament rupture. We've gotten our first confirmation from the manager that Okore will be back this season, probably in a matter of weeks. This is better than what we originally thought, which was that Okore would miss the full season. With the continued perplexing badness of Ciaran Clark and Nathan Baker, Okore would bolster Villa in one of the places it needs the most bolstering.
In addition to Okore, apparently Libor Kozak is progressing well. Which is good news in the greater scheme of things, I suppose. But you know, Villa aren't really hurting for strikers right now, so take your time Libor. No rush. Make sure that leg is really healed.