Phil Egan
Phil Egan

11.48 7 May 2021


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Aston Villa will be without captain Jack Grealish once again for Sunday's Premier League meeting with Manchester United. 

The England international has not featured for Villa since mid-February and since then, Dean Smith's side have won three of their 11 games.

Grealish has been sidelined with a shin injury and there have been mixed messages on a return date since he was unavailable.

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Smith described it as "a bit of a strange injury" back in February but the Villa boss gave an update on Grealish's fitness ahead of Sunday's game against Manchester United.

"He should start training with the group tomorrow (Saturday)," said Smith.

"He's been loading (gym work) but he won't be ready for the game against Manchester United.

"He's been out there loading with the rehab staff and he gets to train with the players tomorrow but we'll be a lot more conservative than we were obviously before with him.

"It's been a loading injury. He had a spike in his loading when he was trying to come back first time (before Fulham) and had a bit of a relapse.

"This time, we've been a lot more conservative with his loading.

"He's been doing every other day three or four kilometres-worth on his feet which has been controlled.

"His first day training will be tomorrow and then we can gradually build that load up aiming for either Everton or Crystal Palace to play a part in them games maybe.

"We'll be led and guided, obviously, by Jack who knows what the pain will feel like but, also, the medical staff as well."

"He will play before the end of the season. Morgan Sanson is still out and will be back in training next week."

Grealish will be hoping to get back to full fitness in time for this summer's rescheduled European Championship.

Meanwhile, Smith does not believe United's busy fixture schedule will be a problem for the Europa League finalists.

Sunday's trip to Villa Park will be one of four games in the space of a week for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, which started with Thursday's night's game away to Roma.

"They’re a big club and have been dealing with European competition for 25 years," Smith added.

"I don’t think they will change the way they play. Their squad is good enough to rotate.

"I’m more worried that they don’t get any penalties against us. We’ve had some dodgy ones against us."


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Aston Villa Dean Smith Jack Grealish Manchester United Premier League

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