Gaffer's verdict: Lambert - It was great to see Benteke back
Paul Lambert was thrilled to see talismanic striker Christian Benteke back in action as Villa continued their pre-season preparations at Luton.
Benteke played 45 minutes at Kenilworth Road as Lambert's side went down 2-0.
Lambert wasn't concerned about the loss, insisting the game was about fitness levels going into the 2013-14 Barclays Premier League season.
What did please him, though, was the sight of Benteke in the claret and blue once again.
He told AVTV: "It was just another fitness thing tonight. Luton did really fine against us.
"The pleasing thing was Christian being back. Some of his touches were brilliant.
"He had 45 minutes. He's only done a bit of training. He's still got to work on match fitness but that 45 minutes will do him the world of good."
Lambert is hopeful of having "one or two" injury casualties back for Friday evening's encounter with Crewe at Gresty Road, the sixth match of Villa's pre-season schedule.
He added: "We have too many injures at the minute. That's the frustrating thing.
"When you look at the ones missing - the likes of Okore, Tonev, Agbonlahor, Weimann, Helenius - there are a lot of big players absent.
"We want to get them back.
"Hopefully there might be one or two back for Friday. We will have to see how that progresses and see how it goes.
"Once we start to get everybody back, we will be pretty strong.
"But you're going to get injuries. That's the nature of the game."
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