Aston Villa overcame Leeds Utd in a 2-1 win on Friday night, but Unai Emery saw Ollie Watkins and Lucas Digne both forced off with injuries.
Villa now have over a week until our next game when we travel to face Southampton next Saturday, and so it’s hoped that break gives those with injury concerns a chance to recover and be available.
However, it remains to be seen what the extent of the setbacks that Watkins and Digne suffered are, as Emery was unable to give any information in his post-match interview.
“I don’t know exactly,” he told the media, as per BirminghamLive. “We’ll check tomorrow and we’ll know tomorrow about them with Lucas and Ollie.”
While Watkins appeared to roll his ankle, and despite trying to play on, he eventually conceded defeat and was replaced in the first half, as Digne’s injury blow looked more concerning as it was around the collarbone or shoulder area and he was in clear discomfort.
Having suffered a similar injury last season, it’s hoped that he hasn’t damaged the same area, as that could be a fairly lengthy spell out for the Frenchman.
Time will tell what the additional scans and tests reveal, and the same goes for Watkins. Villa do have Alex Moreno and Danny Ings to come in and fill those voids, but ultimately it’s always ideal to have a healthy squad and options in all positions.
Meanwhile, Villa captain John McGinn provided an update on his own injury blow prior to the game while talking to Sky Sports, with the Scottish international now missing our last three games with a hamstring injury that he suffered in our win over Tottenham on New Year’s Day.
“I’m bored!” he told Sky Sports. “It’s the first time I’ve done my hamstring, at 28, which I’m not getting used to. But it feels alright, hopefully in a few weeks I’ll be back.”
That timeline would suggest McGinn doesn’t expect to be back this month, meaning he will likely miss the Southampton game and possibly the visit of Leicester City on February 4.
It’s hoped that he continues to make a swift and full recovery, and again, while Jacob Ramsey returned to the Villa XI on Friday night and gave Emery an important boost, it would be ideal to have a full squad to select from to put us in the strongest possible place to get positive results.
Despite a shift in position and role under Emery, McGinn was settling on the right side of the Villa midfield prior to his setback, and given the characteristics and strengths that he adds to the Villa XI, it will be a key boost for us to have him back next month and fighting for a place in the side again.