Jack Grealish Injury Latest
Last week, when the video of Jack Grealish scoring a volley directly from Glenn Whelan’s corner against Derby County from two years ago was doing the rounds on social media, it unwittingly carried with it a cautionary tale that may have been missed by some.
It was the second anniversary of Grealish’s first ever game as Villa captain, but also marked his return from a long-term injury, in a moment that helped spark the 10-game winning run to the Championship play-offs.
As the ball rippled the net though, Villa’s in-house commentator declared in the video, “what a way to return to the team, Jack Grealish, who’s been out for three months with a shin injury.”
For almost a month now, Grealish has been out with a similar ambiguous shin injury. A couple of years ago, Grealish’s injury was originally it had been thought to be short-term, which he just needed a bit of rest to heal. He was expected back after a couple of weeks or so, but weeks soon turned into months.
Smith had stressed this time round that it wasn’t a long-term injury, but here we are, a month later, with Grealish set to miss his fourth straight Villa game. It’s already been longer than expected.
Yesterday, Villa’s Head Coach suggested Grealish was finally on the mend with his return to the team incoming soon.
“Jack Grealish is a lot better, but you won’t see him at Newcastle unfortunately,” reasoned Smith. “It hasn’t helped that he’s been ill this week, which has kept him off for a couple of days.
“He’s made good progress and we’re happy with where he’s at. Hopefully he’ll be available for selection against Tottenham.”
Interestingly, Gareth Southgate is due to name his England squad for March’s three World Cup qualifiers (San Marino, Albania and Poland) on Thursday 18 March, in advance of the Spurs game on the 21st March. Grealish is desperate to be in the England squad for the Euros and the three games would have been the perfect chance to cement his place.
Will Southgate pick a player who has been out for a month, though? If he does, then surely Grealish has to play against Spurs?
Grealish’s latest absence has yet again sparked some supporters to call for the Villa captain to ditch the kid’s sized shin pads he prefers to use.
Do they actually have a point?
While Grealish is sturdy and durable to most of the physical treatment he receives on the pitch, the slow burn effects of being the Premier League’s most fouled player must manifest itself eventually. Has it been responsible for such shin injuries? Surely, it couldn’t have helped.
The player recently voiced his annoyance after being substituted in the closing stages of the Newcastle United game earlier in the season, breaking a long run of making full 90 minute appearances, but perhaps he needs to be managed better and accept the notion of being subbed off. If a game is won, then there’s no harm in him taking a rest bite for the last 10 minutes in the scheme of things, if it spares him from a kick or two.
Other Team Injury News
Meanwhile, it had been thought that Matty Cash would have been the more long-term Villa injury concern, but it was confirmed yesterday that the right-back will return from his hamstring injury to make the match day squad for Newcastle.
“Matt Cash will be in the squad,” confirmed Smith. “He’s come back from his hamstring injury quicker than expected, which is really pleasing.”
Also returning is Anwar El Ghazi.
“Anwar El Ghazi’s got over his infected toenail, so he’s back as well,” concluded, Smith.
In other news, Wesley has been in full contact training, although didn’t feature in today’s Villa U-23 match.