Jack Grealish injury: Aston Villa midfielder to miss Leeds trip but could return for Sheffield United clash

Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish will miss Saturday's Premier League match against Leeds at Elland Road, live on Sky Sports, with a lower leg injury; Villa boss Dean Smith hopeful Grealish could return for Wednesday's match at Sheffield United

News of Grealish's injury appeared on social media 24 hours before the game 1:08
Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith says captain Jack Grealish will miss Saturday's Premier League match at Leeds due to a lower leg injury

Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish will miss Saturday's game at Leeds with a lower leg injury, but Villa boss Dean Smith is hopeful he could return against Sheffield United on Wednesday.

The midfielder picked up the injury in training last week and missed Villa's 2-1 home defeat against Leicester on Sunday.

But Grealish remains unavailable for this weekend's trip to Leeds at Elland Road, live on Sky Sports.

Smith said: "He [Grealish] won't be ready for tomorrow, but he's getting better.

"People have been speculating for how long he's going to be out for but I'm not sure how they can do that when I don't know, the doctor doesn't know and Jack himself doesn't know.

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"I was very vague last week because it is a bit of a strange injury. Jack could be back to play against Sheffield United on Wednesday or Wolves next week so we'll very much be judged by Jack on that.

"It's a lower leg injury. He had some discomfort, so he went to see the doctor and they decided that he needed a period of rest until he was pain-free.

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"I believe that he's very close to being pain-free now and such is Jack he'll want to play as soon as he can."

Jack Grealish has scored seven goals for Aston Villa this season
Image: Jack Grealish has scored seven goals for Aston Villa this season

Smith: Fantasy football controversy dealt with

Smith has also drawn a line under any controversy surrounding Grealish's injury.

The head coach was unhappy news of the skipper's injury emerged on social media ahead of the defeat to Leicester.

It inadvertently came from players and staff who transferred the midfielder out of their Fantasy Premier League teams.

"It must be a slow news week if this is the lead manager's question," the 49-year-old said.

"I don't play it, I live in the real world not the fantasy world. Yes I was made aware of it.

Smith says his players are now aware of their 'responsibilities' surrounding Fantasy Football after Jack Grealish's injury was leaked through the game

"Am I aware that it could be tracked? No, I don't think a lot of the other players and staff were as well but I've reminded everybody at the football club of their responsibilities of being a member of staff at an elite football club.

"I'm sure they won't be certainly making that same mistake again after knowing what they know now."

Along with Grealish, Matt Cash (hamstring), Kortney Hause (foot) and Wesley (knee) also remain out against Leeds.

Jack Grealish missed the Leicester game through injury
Image: Grealish's injury last week was discovered by Fantasy Premier League players

Are fantasy football bots behind PL team leaks?

Last Sunday, Grealish was not included in Villa's squad against Leicester due to injury. Many Fantasy Premier League players had already suspected this, thanks to news on Friday that three Villa players and two members of the club's staff had transferred Grealish out of their respective teams.

Some pre-match team information has always been available online. However, the monitoring of so many Fantasy Premier League accounts belonging to club staff, has led to several clubs now discussing how best to make sure no clues are inadvertently offered up to their opposition hours and, in many cases, days before kick-off.

One Twitter account, believed to be based in Norway, generates an automated tweet once a player or staff member changes a player at their own club. In just over three weeks, the account has highlighted more than 60 'transfers' in and out of Fantasy Premier League teams belonging to players and staff at more than half of top-flight clubs.

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