Jack Grealish out of Liverpool clash as Villa star sets return date

Dean Smith has confirmed Jack Grealish has been dealt a huge blow knowing his return has taken another setback.

The Aston Villa captain, 25, has missed Villa’s last seven matches after complaining of a shin issue in the build up to Villa’s defeat against Leicester City on February 21.

Villa have been without their star man ever since – that’s despite the England playmaker returning to full training just last week in the hope of returning against Fulham.

However, in the hours leading up to kick-off, Grealish complained of discomfort once again and was pulled out just 10 minutes into last Saturday’s session at Bodymoor Heath.

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The skipper is now working alongside Villa’s strength and conditioning coach Oli Stevenson with Grealish pencilling in a return for the match with Everton on May 1, with his focus on hopefully returning before then.

Confirming Villa’s latest blow, Smith said: “Jack had a setback obviously last week. Myself and Jack were probably a little too optimistic trying to get him back. He wanted to be back for the Tottenham game (March 21) and we tried to push him for the Fulham game but he’s had a setback which will probably keep him out for a few more weeks. We need to de-load him.

“The good news is is that it’s not a long-term injury… He’s mostly quite calm and we know he’ll be back before the end of the season. It is what it is.”

The news means Grealish will miss upcoming games with Liverpool, Man City and West Brom, while he’ll remain hopeful of his return in three weeks’ time at Everton.

Elsewhere, Smith confirmed that Brazilian striker Wesley is fine after hobbling off while on under-23 duty against Wolves last week.

The striker has returned to training, with Smith adding: “Wesley’s OK. It was just a knock so he’s been back training ever since the game. He needs a few more games to get into any kind of contention to be involved this season. He knows that and he’s working extremely hard.”

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