Date: 20th January 2019 at 6:00am
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Dean Smith says Jack Grealish has a “bone stress injury” but is “in very good nick” as he nears his recovery. Grealish has been out of action since picking up the knock against West Bromwich Albion on December 7. The Aston Villa midfielder has since missed seven Championship games and one in the FA Cup, but he is nearing a return.

Grealish missed Saturday afternoon’s 2-2 draw with Hull City and could be back in action in February, so long as training on his leg doesn’t see any new problems flare up. Smith revealed the midfielder is itching to play and has asked to return to the first-team, but the Villa medical team are being cautious.

He said in Aston Villa’s pre-match press conference: “Jack has the bone stress injury. He’s now come back after several days of warm-weather training. He looks in very good nick. He keeps knocking on my door asking if he can play but we have to be guided by the medical staff. We will start putting some load through his leg and make sure we can get him back as quickly as possible.”

Grealish has made 21 Championship appearances this season, scoring two goals. Villa have suffered in the 23-year-old’s absence, picking up only one win in their last eight, so Smith will be desperate to have his key player back. The Midlands club are struggling for results without their playmaker and it threatens to end their hopes of promotion. They’re currently seven points off playoffs.

Crippy Cooke’s previous article

Aston Villa man ‘fit and available’ for Hull City clash, manager says ‘he’s back now’

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