Signs of Winter Woe?
The Aston Villa bench in the mid-week 5-5 encounter against Nottingham Forest saw the likes of Callum O’Hare and Jake Doyle-Hayes making up the substitutes, suggesting that the treatment room at Bodymoor Heath is starting to fill up.
Some of the injured were even on the pitch.
“John McGinn, we’re still treating him like an injured player,” said Villa Head Coach, Dean Smith, in the pre-match Middlesborough presser. “It was a bit of a risk to play him [against Forest].”
James Chester too hasn’t looked 100% since the injury he picked up on international duty for Wales.
With Villa going into a December where they’ll play six games in four weeks, an injury crisis wouldn’t be ideal.
Light on the Horizon
The good news is a slate of players will return to training next week, potentially making the squad for the upcoming local derby against the Baggies a little more competitive.
Albert Adomah, James Bree and Mile Jedinak are all expected according to Smith to be back in training at Bodymoor Heath next week. Adomah especially is expected to be in the reckoning to be back in the squad for the Albion game.
Keinan Davis will also step up his return next week. Already back in training, Smith stated in his pre-Boro press conference that next week will see Davis play an U-23 game to help him get his match fitness back up to scratch.
Villa’s midfield has been left a little short in the last week and while Jedinak is on the verge of being involved again, both Henri Lansbury (hamstring) and Birkir Bjarnason (in post-op rehab) are expected to be two to three weeks away from returning to training.
Certainly the timing of his injury was a cruel blow for Bjarnason, who had been in Smith’s first team plans from the off. Hopefully, he’ll be back up to speed by the turn of the new year.