Neil Taylor is “back in training” and could be “available for selection” ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Birmingham City, according to Dean Smith. The Villa left-back was forced off at half-time against Derby on November 10 and was an injury doubt for the Second City derby.
Taylor was recently recalled to the Wales national team but was forced to withdraw from the squad due to the knock. He should be okay for Sunday, however, so long as he doesn’t suffer a setback in training in the coming days. It’s good news as the Midlands outfit didn’t have a natural replacement at left-back.
Smith said to the club’s official website: “Taylor will be back training with us today. He’ll be available for selection as long as he gets through the next few days”. Alan Hutton would likely have been a makeshift left-back in Taylor’s stead, a role he undertook under former manager Steve Bruce.
Jordan Amavi was sold to Olympique Marseille over the summer and wasn’t replaced by the club, so Hutton has often had to fill in when Taylor wasn’t available. Smith may have needed the Scotland defender in a central role, however, as James Chester is also an injury doubt for Villa.
Smith will be desperate for Taylor to get through the next few days unscathed, as Hutton might be needed at centre-back for Chester.