Micah Richards: Aston Villa defender unlikely to play until New Year after rehab plan
Villa defender Micah Richards looks set to be sidelined until well into the New Year as he continues to undergo treatment on a knee injury.
The 28-year-old has not played since the 1-1 draw with Wolves in mid-October, which was both his first Championship start of the season and boss Steve Bruce's first game in charge.
Richards has now been placed on a specialised programme in order to try and solve the problem, with Bruce admitting the next few weeks will be crucial.
"Micah's started a six to eight week programme that we thought would be best for him," said the boss.
"We need to get his knee to a place where he feels comfortable.
"The big, important time for Micah is in the next couple of weeks because he's down into that programme.
"We hope that he can recover from his knee injury but it seems to be an on-going problem for that lad which is hugely disappointing.
"But we'll give him the time to see if we can get it recovered."
Richards joined Villa on a free transfer from Manchester City in the summer of 2015 and captained the club during the next season, when they were relegated from the Premier League.
Though the former England international remained part of the squad in the early weeks of the season under Roberto Di Matteo, he featured only fleetingly before being brought immediately into the starting line-up by Bruce.
Right-back has been identified as a problem area by the Villa boss, who is close to agreeing a loan deal for Arsenal's Carl Jenkinson