Laursen considering quitting

Martin Laursen, Aston Villa's Danish defender, is considering hanging up his boots as he struggles to recover from the knee injury which ended his season in January.

The 30-year-old has had consultations with a specialist over the latest in a string of knee injuries and Villa boss Martin O'Neill admitted there were doubts about whether he would be able to play again.

"The news on Martin is not great," O'Neill said. "He is deliberating on what to do. We were hoping that he could recover but he is having a tough time.

"But he will make the decision and, whatever decision he comes to, I will respect with the utmost regard. He has already seen a specialist and now has to make up his mind."

Laursen has not played since the home encounter with West Brom in early January and a hoped-for comeback against Manchester United in early April had to be aborted after he broke down during Villa's training break in Dubai.