Dean Smith has confirmed that Alan Hutton will be “out for a number of weeks” with a knee injury but says “it’s not as bad as first feared”. The Aston Villa defender was brought off just seven minutes into Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Stoke City and was initially expected to be out for the remainder of the season.
Hutton damaged his medial collateral ligament, but Villa feared he’d ruptured the ligament which would have ended his season three months premature. The Midlands outfit are hoping he’ll return before the campaign comes to a close and will work hard to facilitate his comeback.
The 34-year-old has made 32 Championship appearances this season and faces a race to return before Villa’s last game of the campaign – Norwich City (home) on May 5. Hutton has just shy of 10 weeks to recover from his knee injury and Smith believes he will be back in time.
He said in his latest Aston Villa press conference: “It’s not as bad as first feared. We thought he might have ruptured his MCL. I don’t think it’s a rupture, but he’s certainly overstretched that area and he’ll be out for a number of weeks. We’ll have to monitor it and see how he is. I’m hoping we’ll have him back before the end of the season.
When asked if Hutton could return at the end of April, Smith responded: “Yea, the early signs weren’t good and it looked like he could be ruled out for the season. The MRI scan we’ve had has suggested it’s not a full rupture of the MCL which is really good news for him and ourselves. We’re positive we can get him back before the end of the season.”
With Hutton out of contract this summer, he’ll be desperate to end his time at Villa on a more positive note. The Scotland international has made 201 appearances in all competitions since joining the club in 2011 from Tottenham Hotspur. He’s been a fantastic servant.