Bouma meets with setback
Wilfred Bouma has met with a fresh setback, but team-mate Curtis Davies is on course for a January comeback.
Last Updated: 06/12/09 5:11pm
Aston Villa defender Wilfred Bouma has met with a fresh setback in his bid to return to action, but team-mate Curtis Davies is on course for a January comeback.
Bouma has not played a first-team game since July 2008 due to an ankle injury, although he has fully recovered from that problem.
The Netherlands international has now picked up a toe injury and Villa boss Martin O'Neill is unsure when the 31-year-old will be available for first-team duty.
"Wilfred had a bit of a setback," O'Neill told the club's official website. "In terms of the ankle injury he sustained just over a year ago, he's fine. Everything is good with that.
"He actually has one of those turf toes - he stubbed it - and that's causing him a lot of pain at the moment.
"It looks like we might need to immobilise that for a week or two. So just when it looked as if he was on track, he suffers a separate injury - a setback for him. It's been a frustrating time for him over the past few months."
Bang on schedule
However, O'Neill confirmed that Davies, who has been out since September following shoulder surgery, is closing on his first-team return.
O'Neill added: "Curtis is doing very well. He will always be ahead of schedule - whatever time frame you give him - that's just Curtis.
"We are waiting for news from the specialist. That is coming in very shortly. He will dictate. A dislocation of the shoulder is put away for some time and then you have to do exercises.
"There is a timescale there and he's not behind it as seems to have been reported last week. He's absolutely bang on schedule.
"With his type of injury, there's no point rushing him back. We said at the time that we were looking somewhere in the region of 16 weeks - four months - and I think he is bang on for that. I reckon, with a fair wind, we are looking at January time."