Dean Smith has confirmed Jack Grealish will miss Aston Villa's Premier League clash with Newcastle on Friday evening through illness, but is eying up a return to action for his captain the following week against Tottenham.
The Villa talisman has been absent for his side's last four league outings after suffering a lower leg injury in training, with the Villans picking up four points from a possible 12 in his absence.
Smith revealed Grealish was making 'good progress' with his recovery, before illness disrupted his comeback. The Villa boss has pencilled in the home fixture against Tottenham on 21 March as a potential return date.
“Jack’s been making really good progress, but unfortunately he won’t make Newcastle,” Smith said (via the Independent). “He has been ill this week so he’s been off for a couple of days as well, but we’re hopeful for the Tottenham game now, that’s for sure.
“He’s still in and around the training ground. He takes part in the meetings. He’s got a voice and an opinion, which is good.
“He was one of the ones when we did our debrief after the Sheffield United game who, having watched the game, was telling the players how well we played and deserved more out of the game. He’s matured an awful lot and takes on a lot more responsibility, that’s for sure.”
Grealish has been instrumental for Villa this season, chipping in with six goals and 12 assists during a strong second season back in the top flight with his boyhood club.
The midfielder had missed just two minutes of his side's Premier League campaign this term prior to sustaining a lower leg injury in February, and this subsequently kept him out of Villa's fixtures against Leicester, Leeds, Sheffield United and Wolves. Villa have scored just twice across the four matches that Grealish has missed thus far.