Richard Dunne is hoping to return to full training this week with a view to helping Aston Villa avoid the relegation drop and preparing himself for Euro 2012.
Dunne, speaking to RTÉ’s Damien O’Meara on Sport At Seven on RTÉ Radio 1, explained that his recovery from the fractured right shoulder he sustained playing for Villa against Manchester City in early February had gone according to plan.
“Hopefully I will be training fully on Friday with the rest of the squad with a view to playing in the last few games of the season,” Dunne confirmed.
“My recovery has gone to plan, it’s just taken a long time for it to heal. They did tell me 12 weeks originally, and that’s what it’s taken for it to heal.
“The first five or six weeks I was told I could not do anything, so I took some time off away from the club, but the last three or four weeks have been like a pre-season and the last week I’ve been training with the youths and reserves.”
Dunne admitted that Villa now find themselves in a precarious position in the Premier League, but believes that they can secure their top-flight status for next season.
“We need to forget about the last 35 games and make sure we go and get the points that we need in the last three games,” Dunne added.
“They are tough games for us but we have got ourselves into a situation where it’s going to be a difficult end to the season, but hopefully, with the support of the crowd, we will get stuck in together and get out of it.”
The defender also stated that Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni was in constant contact with him during his recovery, and his messages were a boost to the player.
“The manager was texting me quite a bit to find out how things were going.
“I told him from day one that it would be 12 weeks and I would be back for the last few games of the season, so it was just a case of checking if I was ok and that everything was on course. It’s nice for him to get in touch with me just to see how I was getting on.
“His texts are good. He does not have to do it, but it’s nice of him to show an interest.”