Express & Star

Aston Villa hopeful James Chester can return for Championship run-in

Villa remain hopeful of having James Chester back for the Championship run-in as the skipper continues to battle a knee injury.


The 30-year-old has not played since last month’s win over Ipswich and there is currently no exact timescale for his return, though he appears likely to remain sidelined for at least several more weeks.

Chester has been receiving regular injections to reduce swelling on his knee, with boss Dean Smith revealing the Wales international has not trained properly for more than two months.

He said: “I think the last time James trained properly was before the West Brom game at The Hawthorns (on December 7).

"We have to let his knee settle down. It has been swelling regularly so he has been having injections to sort that. Whenever you have a swollen knee it tells you there is something angry going on in there.

“Having the injection and having the rest will hopefully help him get back for the last eight to ten games.”

Villa also lost defender Axel Tuanzebe to a foot injury in December, leaving Chester to play through the pain barrier before the deadline day arrival of Tyrone Mings allowed Smith to give him some rest.

The boss continued: “I can’t credit James enough. It shows you he is a solid character who just wanted to go out and play football.”