Benteke determined to come back strong from injury layoff
Christian Benteke has spoken of his desire to return "faster than expected" as he looks ahead to the 2014-15 term.
Benteke ruptured his achilles tendon in training on the eve of the Fulham game in April.
The star striker then had an operation and is now back in Belgium recuperating.
He is expected to be out for a minimum of six months but Benteke insists he will be doing everything he can to be back at the earliest possible opportunity.
He told Belgian media company RTBF: "I'm convinced I will be back faster than expected.
"After my injury I thought about Villa. At that point we weren't even sure we would stay in the Premier League.
"But I'm relieved the boys avoided the drop.
"There are many people who have said it will take me six months to get back. But I am sure I will be back faster."
The upsetting injury setback also means Benteke will miss the summer World Cup in Brazil, a development that, he admits, has caused him big heartache.
He added: "When the diagnosis was confirmed, I didn't feel sad, I felt frustrated.
"I was thinking about all the sacrifices I'd made and that I'd deserved to be at the World Cup. That's what I mean with frustration.
"People have said lots of positive things to me. To be honest, I didn't expect that.
"When Belgium play their first game against Algeria, on June 17, there will be a little frustration, but I think I can easily watch.
"Marc Wilmots, the national manager, called me on the day I injured myself. He told me injuries are a part of football.
"In a career, there are tough times. He has even bounced back, after a lot of operations, to play at the age of 33. Why shouldn't I?
"I got a lot of support from Marouane Fellaini and Eden Hazard, but also Vincent Kompany called me to encourage me."
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