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Press article:

Solano fitness still in doubt - 14/04/2004

Solano fitness still in doubt
touch and go
   Lee Hendrie
   David O'Leary
   Aston Villa
   Newcastle United

Aston Villa midfielder Nolberto Solano is unsure whether he will be fit to face his old club Newcastle in the Barclaycard Premiership this weekend.

Solano has been sidelined for nearly four weeks since suffering a hamstring injury in the home clash with Blackburn.

The Peru international has been back in light training since last weekend but has not been able yet to join in fully with the first-team squad.

Villa manager David O'Leary has often praised the contribution of Solano since his £1.5million move from St James' Park in January.

But O'Leary will not rush him back into action against the Magpies on Sunday if there is the slightest chance of him aggravating the injury.

Lee Hendrie will be suspended against Middlesbrough and Tottenham - and Solano will be needed to replace him.

A Villa spokesman said: "We know that Nobby would dearly love to play in the game against Newcastle on Sunday, because he has a great affinity with their fans.

"It would mean a lot to him to be fit and available, but it is a bit too early to say and could be a bit touch and go. The manager will be assessing his fitness later in the week."

Sporting Life

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