Villa's Grealish out of Sheffield United trip as 'frustrating' injury continues

Villa manager Dean Smith said that Grealish is yet to recover from a leg injury sustained last month and will be primed to return to training next week.

The Aston Villa captain will look forward to joining training this month as his frustrating leg injury keeps him out of action.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Aston Villa will be without captain Jack Grealish for a third Premier League game in a row when it will face Sheffield United on Wednesday, manager Dean Smith said.

Grealish has still not recovered from the leg injury that he sustained in training last month but Smith said he was hopeful that the England international will return to training later this week.

"He won't be ready for the game tomorrow, he's not travelling with us," Smith told a news conference on Tuesday.

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"We'll decide whether we can get him on the training ground later in the week. He's working with the doctor and the rehab staff every day.

"It's frustrating because he's a top player and we'd be a better team having him in it. But it's one of those things - players get injured. It's how you cope without those top players."

In Grealish's absence, Dutch forward Anwar El Ghazi stepped up to score the winner against Leeds United on Saturday - his first goal in two months.

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"He's done really well when he's been called upon. He had a really fruitful December and I think John McGinn came out with his new name – 'Anwar El Goalzi'," Smith said.

"He's just come into the team and he needs confidence. When he is a confident player, he looks one hell of a player."

Villa is ninth in the league standings with 39 points from 24 matches, while Sheffield United is last with just 11 points from 26 matches.