Aston Villa talisman Jack Grealish is to remain sidelined with his shin injury for the rest of April, according to reports.
Grealish, having missed Aston Villa’s previous six games, was due to return last Saturday against Fulham but was instead advised he needs three further weeks of recovery.
Speaking after the Fulham win, manager Dean Smith explained Grealish’s delicate situation.
“He just felt some discomfort (on Saturday) in training and we had to pull him out,” Smith told BirminghamLive.
“Listen, Jack wants to play more than anybody and when Jack tells you he’s got a little bit of pain still then you have to take notice of it.
“We erred on the side of caution with it and yes he’s going to be a miss when he doesn’t play because he brings so much to the team.
“But the players have shown that they can get the win without him – and for him!”
Grealish has contributed six goals and twelve assists for Villa this season, who are on course for an unexpected top-half finish.
Despite this, Villa have struggled without the 25-year-old, winning just one of their last six in the Premier League.
The win over Fulham helped to allay any pressing concerns about their alarming form, but news that Grealish faces further time out will come as a huge blow.
He will miss their clash with Liverpool on Saturday, along with the game against Manchester City 11 days later. Unless Smith is convinced he is fully recovered, he will also not feature in the West Midlands derby showdown with West Bromwich Albion on April 25.
Another Villa absentee, Wesley, is edging closer to a return according to Smith, having suffered a horrific knee injury in January 2020 that’s kept him out for over year.
“Wesley came off in an Under-23s game but it was nothing to worry about and he’s trained ever since,” Smith told The Independent.
“He needs a few more games before he can be added to the squad.”