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Skipper Vlaar rallying round defensive colleague Okore
Ron Vlaar hoping to lift Jores Okore's spirits.
11th Oct 2013
Skipper Vlaar rallying round defensive colleague Okore


Harrison

Ron Vlaar is rallying round defensive partner Jores Okore in an attempt to boost the injured Dane on the road to recovery.

Okore made an encouraging start to his Villa career before being rocked by a cruciate ligament injury which is expected to rule him out for around nine months.

Skipper Vlaar - who battled back from long-term knee problems during his time at Feyenoord - insists keeping the former Nordsjaelland stopper's spirits up is important during his recuperation.

And the Dutchman is offering Okore his full support - just as he did with Gary Gardner who suffered a similar injury last term.

"Jores is so unlucky with his injury," said Vlaar.

"I think he did really great in the games he played. I know what he's going through and I hope that if we can have good results it will help him feel better.

"We try to help him as much as we can. He has to go on. It's going to be a long way but he's going to come back stronger.

"I will talk to him. I talked to Gary Gardner last year. It's little things - you have to try to give yourself a good feeling.

"Make yourself happy even if it's hard, because it's a way of helping yourself recover on your own.

"You do have to do things on your own but we'll try to help him as much as we can."

Vlaar recalls overcoming the mental hurdle is the toughest thing about returning after a long absence.

But he believes Okore will bounce back stronger from his injury woe.

"What I remember from the first time I played again - and for me my first official game was after 22 months - was the feeling when you got a kick on your ankle or something, the feeling of playing again," Vlaar added.

"You know you've been playing again and that feeling makes you so happy.

"You've worked so hard and it's such a long time to comeback.

"He's going to come back very strong. A lot of it is mentally, and that's where we have to help him, because sometimes it will be difficult."

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