Aston Villa injury news: Key figure boost as he steps up recovery

Aston Villa have been handed an injury boost as Lucas Digne has stepped up his recovery from an ankle injury.

The 29-year-old French international has missed our last three Premier League games with the issue, with Villa boss Steven Gerrard unable to put a definitive timeline on when he will be able to return to action.

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Speaking ahead of the Chelsea game last week though, Gerrard suggested that Digne could be back in contention by the end of October, but naturally that hinges on him coming through the various stages of his recovery unscathed and building his fitness back up to a level that will allow him to feature at senior level again.

It appears as though the Villa left-back has now made the next step by returning to the training pitch, as seen in his tweet below, and he’ll hope that he can now push on and get involved in full sessions alongside his teammates in the coming weeks.

While he has struggled with niggles since arriving in January and we’ve not yet seen the best of Digne on a consistent basis, his attacking qualities and defensive solidity combined with his experience and tactical astuteness make him a fundamental part of Gerrard’s plans.

In turn, the sooner he is back available the better for the under-pressure Villa boss, and it seems that the hope of seeing him later this month could be an accurate estimate.

Ashley Young has done an excellent job filling in both on the right and left side of the defence, but with Matty Cash returning from a knock of his own in the last two games, Villa will hope to have that balance to the side back in the coming weeks with Digne being restored to the starting XI. The club later provided an update suggesting he’ll target a comeback against Newcastle Utd on October 29.

With a trip to Fulham on Thursday and then the visit of Brentford to Villa Park on Sunday, this is a big week for Villa and Gerrard.

Amid speculation over his future, with the Telegraph reporting on potential candidates being lined up to replace him, he knows the importance of getting results in the next two games as it could be decisive for his job, and so it remains to be seen if Gerrard is indeed still the man in charge when Digne returns to action.