Aston Villa fans are keenly aware of the impact Academy graduate Jack Grealish had on the side following his return to fitness in the second half of the year, but our 23-year-old has revealed this weekend that he was another of the players who played through the pain barrier.
Having hobbled off in our Championship meeting with West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns at the beginning of December, we didn’t see Jack again until March when he returned in the clash against Derby County.
Speaking to the Sunday Mirror Grealish revealed that he was playing with the problem for over a month and undoubtedly it could’ve been worse than it was.
“I did it in the game against Swansea in Dean’s first game as manager. The morning afterwards, I woke up and had this pain. I carried on playing, but I wasn’t really training throughout the whole of November and December. When we played the league match at The Hawthorns, the pain in my shin was horrific. It turned out to be a fracture. It was affecting my ankle and the bottom of my left foot.”
Grealish went on to say.
“I went for the scan the next morning. I was on my way to London for our Christmas party when the doc rang and he sounded low. I asked what was up and he replied: ‘It’s not good news. You’ve fractured your leg and you’re not going to be able to play until March.’ I said: ‘Nah, I can play now, but it’s so painful – just give me a month and I’ll be sorted.’ He said: ‘You can’t. If someone boots you, you’ve already fractured the bone. You could break your leg badly.’ He said it would be in March and he was right, almost to the week.”
With a significant uplift in his own form and productivity on his return, not least taking the armband under our new head coach Dean Smith, Jack played a massive role in our run to the Championship Play-Off Final at Wembley and after a difficult season for a number of reasons, let’s hope we’re all toasting success in the next few weeks.