Villa’s Richard Dunne linking up with NFL side

    Injured Republic of Ireland and Aston Villa centre-half Richard Dunne is to link up with NFL side the Cleveland Browns in a bid to be fit by the end of April.

    Dunne, who famously kept Russia at bay in Moscow during the qualifiers, wants to return to club duty before the end of the club season in a bid to be fully fit for the European Championship Finals which kicks off for Ireland on 10th June against Croatia.  Dunne will this week fly out to Cleveland who are owned by Villa owner Randy Lerner.

    Dunne said: “Because of the nature of American football, Cleveland have a lot of experience in dealing with this kind of (collarbone) injury.  Any help I can get will be much appreciated.  It will also be a great experience and I think it will be a good week.  I’m hoping when I come back that I’ll be sorted and can push on with things and start training again.”

    Dunne suffered the injury after falling heavily during the Premier League clash with former club Manchester City and was initially given  a 4-6 week lay-off diagnosis but the injury was revealed to be more serious than thought and the Republic of Ireland’s Senior International Player of the Year for 2011 now faces a race against time to be fully fit for Euro 2012.

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