Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard has provided a positive update on Leon Bailey ahead of our game with Newcastle Utd this weekend.
Bailey, 24, has been sidelined since picking up a thigh injury in our loss to Man City on December 1, which in turn has meant that he has missed the last 10 Premier League games.
With Gerrard appointed as Dean Smith’s replacement in that time, it will have been a frustrating period for the Jamaican international as he will be desperate to make a positive impression on the Villa boss.
Based on the latest update from Gerrard, it sounds as though Bailey is closing in on being in contention to feature again, and it’s hoped that he’s available for the trip to Newcastle this weekend, although it is of course highly likely that he is only ready for the bench for now.
“Yeah, he did part of a session on Monday. Tuesday he did a full session for the first time, so he’s back in the group and back in full training,” Gerrard told the media in his press conference after our draw with Leeds Utd on Wednesday night.
“He’ll continue to be pushed in the coming days. He has an outside chance of being involved at the weekend, but we’ll assess that in the coming days. We need to keep him fit and healthy from now until the end of the season because he’s a big player.
“He’s a big investment for the club. He should feel like a new signing for all of us because he’s a big talent. He feels like he’s in a good place but we just need to be patient for the next week, ten days and then I’m sure he’ll be ready to go full throttle and right in.”
Bailey has one goal and two assists in nine league appearances so far this season, with his display against Everton at home in September standing out in particular as he looked electric in that win.
It’s been a frustrating and disappointing run for him so far in a Villa shirt, but he’ll be hoping to now put this setback behind him, get minutes in his legs and build his fitness up to establish himself as a key piece in Gerrard’s plans between now and the end of the season.