Steve Bruce: Aston Villa need patience with Jack Grealish

Steve Bruce has admitted patience will be required over Jack Grealish as the Villa star steps up his recovery from serious injury.

Jack Grealish
Jack Grealish

Grealish, who suffered kidney damage following a freak collision during Villa’s pre-season friendly against Watford back in July, has returned to light training at the club’s Bodymoor Heath training ground in recent days.

But Bruce, who has several immediate injury concerns ahead of Saturday’s Championship clash with Nottingham Forest at Villa Park, believes it will still be some weeks before the 22-year-old is ready for a return to competitive action.

“Jack is back in the training ground and we’re delighted to see him. He’s running a bit but he’s got a long way to go,” said the boss.

“He’s had a serious, serious injury and he’s still a bit away. We’ll have to be patient.”

Villa are assessing Henri Lansbury ahead of the visit of Forest. The 26-year-old was forced off late in the first half of Tuesday’s 2-0 Carabao Cup defeat to Middlesbrough after picking up a knee injury.

Striker Scott Hogan also had to be substituted in the same match with a knock to the ankle.

Gabriel Agbonlahor could however be back in contention after missing the last three matches with a groin problem.

Bruce used Tuesday’s cup fixture to give some of Villa’s fringe players a run-out, including a fourth appearance of the campaign for full-back Ritchie De Laet.

“Ritchie got a game which was pleasing. He can’t get enough games,” said Bruce.

“Ideally you would like him to go out on loan and get games in a competitive environment.

“He’s done all the training and the games, but when a big cup tie comes along, he hasn’t played for a year through injury.

“It’s good for him. He’s got through 90 minutes which is important.

“It was obvious some needed the game. They have been knocking on my door, eager to play, which is normal.”

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