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Okore on the fast track to Villa return - but should he be?

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Jores Okore went down with knee damage in September, and was set to miss the rest of the Aston Villa season. Now he may return to training this month - but is returning to the pitch this season in the Dane's long term interest?

Jamie McDonald

Yesterday brought the happy news that Charles N'Zogbia could yet don a claret and blue kit this season. Today brings word that Jores Okore is recovering faster than anticipated, and his injury may not prevent him from missing the rest of the Aston Villa season.

So yay, right? It must be good news if the Dane could return to training in February. After all, Villa have seen (repeated) injuries to Nathan Baker, Ciaran Clark and Ron Vlaar, so having an additional centerback would surely provide some reinforcement in an often shaky defense.

Yet on the flip side, rushing back someone that's had knee ligament damage doesn't seem the wisest move. Rushing the healing process for these sorts of injuries - injuries that typically take at least nine months to mend - increases the risk of re-injury to the area. Okore could face other problems as well, finding himself worn down or even hampered by other injuries as he overcompensates for an injury that's not quite healed.

Many will say trust the club - they have expert medical staff and doctors that know much more than some silly fans writing on the internet. Yet there's no denying that the club would have an ulterior motive here. Unfortunately, there's still a relegation battle to be fought, and strong defenders are crucial to that battle. We only got to see Okore for a few games, but he seemed set to be a starter at the Villa.

It's clear bringing him back would help add strength and steel to the squad. But at what expense? The bright future of a 21-year-old international? Let's hope not.