Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith has confirmed that he can finally call on the services of Jack Grealish for this weekend’s clash with Derby County.
The 23-year-old has spent a fair chunk of time out on the sidelines after picking up a shin problem in the Championship clash with local rivals West Bromwich Albion back at the beginning of December, but having worked hard to come back to fitness, speaking to the Official Site earlier today, Smith confirmed that having missed the last 14 matches, we finally get some good news and he can come back into his thoughts.
“He’s trained well and is available for selection for the game against Derby. Whether he starts or not, we’ll have to wait and see. But he’s trained well and has worked really hard to get himself into contention. He’s pushing for a starting spot on Saturday. The medical staff have had to keep a rein on me these last few weeks! I’ve been looking to get him back as soon as possible and put a bit of pressure on the doctor and medical staff. Then, obviously, I’ve had to rein Jack in as well. When he hasn’t felt any more pain, he’s wanted to get going. But we had to nurse him back because it was a big injury. It could have been a dangerous one in terms of future injuries. I think we’ve done it right and I hope he can now go and see the season out well.”
With our form plummeting during the festive period and the wheels largely falling off when it came to our promotion hopes this year, the return of Jack (let’s not forget he’ll need time to boost his sharpness and confidence) will be a significant boost as we look to at least end the campaign strongly, even if it’s accepted the Play-Offs are now a step too far.
I’d be amazed if he came straight back into the starting XI even though we all know how we’ve missed him at the top of the pitch, but with this week under his belt at least he should play some part.