Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has delivered positive news on the injury front ahead of our clash with Arsenal at the Emirates on Friday night.
Villa will be looking to bounce back after our bitterly disappointing defeat to Wolves last weekend, a game in which we threw away three points after conceding three goals in a disastrous final 10 minutes or so at Villa Park.
Smith, the coaching staff and the players will undoubtedly want to put that right by bouncing back and getting a positive result in north London on Friday, and it sounds as though we’re starting to move towards getting a fully-fit squad available.
Speaking ahead of the game in his press conference on Thursday, Smith provided updates on Matty Cash, Leon Bailey and Bertrand Traore, with the trio all dealing with injury issues heading into this encounter.
“Matty Cash had to come off [against Wolves] with a dead leg, but he’s back training now so he’s fine,” he said, as quoted by the club’s official site. “Leon Bailey’s been back training the last couple of days, so he’s fine as well – as is Bertrand Traore. Keinan Davis is also back training, so we’re starting to get a fully fit squad again.
“The likes of Leon Bailey and Bertrand Traore have come back from four or five weeks out, so we’ll build up their fitness. They’ll (Bailey and Traore) be in the squad, but I’ll have to assess where they are.”
Bailey, 24, has been sidelined since his stunning cameo appearance in the win over Everton as he scored in our 3-0 win late last month.
Meanwhile, Traore has been limited to just 53 minutes of playing time in the Premier League so far this season having had to deal with various injury concerns, and so he’ll be desperate to build on his contributions from last year which saw him score eight goals and provide seven assists in 38 outings.
Given their lack of playing time in recent weeks, it seems unlikely that either Bailey or Traore will be fit enough to start against Arsenal, but it certainly comes as a major boost for Villa and Smith that they will be available off the bench if needed, as it gives us additional firepower that can help change a game given the quality that they possess.