Aston Villa skipper John Terry set to face Derby County
Skipper John Terry is on course to return for Villa in Saturday’s clash with Derby.
The 37-year-old centre-back has missed the last three games with an ankle injury sustained in Villa’s 3-1 defeat at Norwich earlier this month.
Despite returning to training last week, Terry was kept out of Saturday’s 4-0 win at Ipswich as a precaution.
Assistant boss Colin Calderwood explained: “John had two or three days’ training.
“He could have played but we can give him more training which will help toward the game next week.”
Villa have been able to bide their time with Terry thanks to the excellent form of Mile Jedinak, who has helped them keep three clean sheets while operating as a makeshift defender in the captain’s absence.
Boss Steve Bruce has also been boosted by the return to training of full-back Alan Hutton.
The Scot has made just one appearance in two months due to a hamstring injury but Villa hope he will be up to full speed in time for the play-offs.
Left-back Neil Taylor is meanwhile expected to be fit to face the Rams.
The Wales international required treatment and was later substituted at Ipswich after being caught by Grant Ward, with a challenge which earned the home player a straight red card.
“He was a little bit sore on his leg, as you would imagine,” said Calderwood. “I think (taking him off) just helped the atmosphere in the ground.
“The fans felt aggrieved towards him and there was no need.
“It also helped getting another attacking player on and putting Birkir there. It covered two or three bases. I don’t see any issue going forward (with Taylor).”