Dean Smith has revealed he isn’t sure how long Jack Grealish will be sidelined for following the Aston Villa captain’s shock absence for the clash at Leicester on Sunday.
Grealish was omitted from the squad and replaced in the starting XI by Anwar El Ghazi, with the Villans looking to close the gap on the pack chasing the European places at the top of the Premier League table with victory over the Foxes.
Speaking ahead of the game, Smith admitted he didn’t know when the England international would be back but added he did not think it would be a long absence.
“He’s had some discomfort in training this week,” Smith said. “We decided he wasn’t right to play. We don’t believe it’s a long-term injury but we’re just going to assess him as he goes.
“It’s on his leg. It’s not a recurrence of any previous injury. I’ve no idea [how long he’ll be out]. We’re assessing him, I’m hopeful for Leeds but I’m always the eternal optimist.”
The Athletic add Grealish is expected to miss that Leeds fixture on Saturday, with Villa’s next game after that coming at Sheffield United.
Grealish has been arguably Villa‘s most important player this season, leading their surprise charge for a top ten finish. The 25-year-old has contributed six goals and ten assists in 22 Premier League games this term, with the game at Leicester being the first he’s missed all campaign.
He wasn’t the only injury absentee at the weekend.
Matty Cash, who has impressed at right-back since his summer move from Nottingham Forest, is facing several weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring strain and was replaced in Smith’s starting XI by veteran Ahmed Elmohamady