Aston Villa injury news: Injured ace resumes recovery work over break

Aston Villa midfielder Philippe Coutinho has returned to Bodymoor Heath to continue his recovery work after suffering an injury earlier this month.

The 30-year-old missed out on the World Cup after suffering a leg muscle injury prior to the break, which forced him to miss our last three games.

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Given his struggles to find form prior to that, it’s questionable as to whether he would have made the Brazil squad regardless, but the injury was a disappointing blow, particularly the timing in terms of his World Cup hopes and trying to impress new Villa boss Unai Emery.

The break though will give Coutinho an opportunity to work on his recovery and get back to full fitness for when we resume on Boxing Day, albeit it’s unclear how many more weeks he’ll need to get back to being available but it’s hoped that he is making steady progress without any setbacks.

Having been unable to make an impression on Emery before the break, the Brazilian playmaker will hope that he can fight his way back into the side under the Spanish tactician in the second half of the season, as naturally others have stepped up and made an impact for Emery already.

It will be a big challenge for the Villa boss too, as while Coutinho has been poor, there is still a top level player in there to get the most out of. Whether it’s a change in role or position on the pitch to allow him to dictate games and be more influential, it’s hoped that Emery can find the solutions and maximise the quality and talent currently at his disposal before bringing in new faces.

We’ve seen him do that with others in the squad already in a short space of time, and so it will be interesting to see if Coutinho follows a similar path or if his struggles continue moving forward in terms of trying to establish himself in Emery’s long-term plans.