Jack Grealish was withdrawn from Aston Villa training on Saturday ahead of their clash with Fulham, The Athletic‘s Gregg Evans has revealed.
The playmaker looked set to return to the matchday squad after rejoining his team-mates on the grass, but Villa’s medical staff apparently deemed it too great a risk to let him play. The club won’t simply let the 25-year-old play through the pain, as there is a real danger that he could then aggravate his shin injury.
Villa were victorious without their captain over the weekend, with Trezeguet (twice) and Ollie Watkins on target as they came from behind to beat Scott Parker’s side. However, Evans noted that Grealish’s absence has now extended well beyond the month which was initially expected and there is understandable concern about how much further that will extend.
The 25-year-old has scored seven goals and provided a team-high 10 assists this season (via BBC Sport).
Dean Smith is now refusing to put a timeline on his return, with the severity of the recent setback unclear. For now, there’s ‘no indication’ of his season resuming ‘any time soon’.
Transfer Tavern verdict
Villa had enough to beat relegation-threatened Fulham at the weekend, but now they face a daunting run of fixtures.
They travel to Liverpool next Saturday before hosting runaway league leaders Manchester City. Meetings with Everton and Manchester United then come after a local derby against West Brom.
If Grealish’s fitness struggles continue, they could slowly slide down the table and out of European contention unless his team-mates step up to fill the scoring and creative void his absence presents.
In other news, many Villa fans hailed this midfielder’s display on Sunday.
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