Boss Paul Lambert today admitted Marc Albrighton faces a “big year” as he battles for his Villa future.
Derby have been linked with a loan move for the midfielder who is out of contract at the end of the season.
Albrighton broke a bone in his foot the 2-1 FA Cup win over Ipswich in January, his last game, and returned to training too late to aid Villa’s successful survival bid.
He then suffered a thigh injury in pre-season and Lambert said he is prepared to let Albrighton out on loan.
“It’s a big year but he will help himself,” he said. “It’s unfair as he has missed a lot of game time.
“He’s been unfortunate. He missed nearly a whole season and he’s still really short (of fitness). If something comes up and I think it’s right I’ll look at it. If I don’t he’ll stay here. He possibly needs a good run, he needs to stay injury free.”
Albrighton has made 80 appearances for Villa, netting nine times, since coming through the ranks and making his debut against CSKA Moscow in 2009.
Lambert also insisted Jordan Bowery will not go out on loan despite the £7m deadline signing of Libor Kozak.