Laursen earns O'Neill praise

10 January 2008 12:28
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has hailed as fantastic the recovery from a career-threatening injury by centre-back Martin Laursen. The 30-year-old Denmark international joined Villa in the summer of 2004 from AC Milan, but a series of knee problems saw his first three seasons at Villa Park ruined by injury. However, Laursen has been outstanding in the current campaign and is in talks with Villa about a new contract, with his existing deal set to run out next summer. O'Neill said: "Martin has been immense. When you consider 15 or 16 months ago I watched him in pre-season and he was even walking with a bit of a limp. "He spent some time recovering from the injuries he had. Laursen's heart is as big as himself and he said he would recover and you take his word for that. "But I would have been surprised at what he has done here and that is great credit to him. "He has played consecutive games for us all season, one of six players to start every league game. Yes, he takes his days out to do his leg work and strengthening work, but he has been fantastic. "He has been brilliant and has worked so hard to come back and play Premier League football, because I am sure there were many dark days when he thought he would never play again."

Source: ESA