Jack Grealish: Aston Villa captain out for a 'few weeks' after injury setback, says Dean Smith

Jack Grealish has not played for Aston Villa since 0-0 draw at Brighton on February 13; Villa captain was hoping to return at Liverpool but Dean Smith says he faces another "few weeks" on the sidelines; Liverpool vs Aston Villa live on Sky Sports Premier League on Saturday; kick-off 3pm

PA - Jack Grealish 1:28
Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith says Jack Grealish will miss the next couple of weeks as he continues his recovery from injury

Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish will be out for another "few weeks" after suffering a setback in his recovery from injury, says head coach Dean Smith.

The news is a major blow to Villa, who have already been without Grealish for their last seven Premier League games as he bids to recover from a shin problem.

Smith's side have won just two of those seven matches and will again be without their talisman for Saturday's game at Anfield against champions Liverpool.

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Smith said: "Myself and Jack were quite optimistic to get him back a bit sooner than he probably should and he's had a setback that will probably put him back a couple of weeks.

"He was really good in training, but he couldn't tolerate the loading. It's a loading injury and we have to de-load him over the next few weeks and get him back from there.

Aston Villa 3-1 Fulham 3:00
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"We know it's not a long-term injury and he will be back. We all, Jack included, probably pushed him back a little bit too quickly. We wanted him to get back and he had a little setback."

Grealish has been a key player for Villa this season, scoring six goals and creating 12 more to help his boyhood club into the top half of the Premier League table.

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The 25-year-old's performances have seen him break into the England squad, and he has gone on to make five appearances for his country since making his debut against Denmark in September.

His injury kept him out of the most recent England squad for last month's World Cup Qualifiers, and Gareth Southgate will be keeping an eye on the midfielder's fitness ahead of this summer's European Championships.

However, Smith has downplayed suggestions Grealish's absence from the Villa side could have a bearing on whether he makes the final England squad.

"He's proved himself already but the one thing for certain is he will be back before the end of the season, and then Gareth (Southgate) has to make a decision whether he thinks he's right for that," Smith added.

Villa announce losses of £99.2m for 2019/20 season

Aston Villa suffered losses of £99.2 m in the 2019-20 season as the COVID-19 pandemic hit their finances, the Premier League club said on Friday.

The club spent £155.9m on new recruits after they were promoted in 2019 in a bid to stay in the top flight beyond the 2019-20 season and the club finished 17th on the final day to survive.

Dean Smith (AP)
Image: Dean Smith guided Villa to safety on their return to the Premier League

Every club's matchday income has taken a hit with games being held behind closed doors. A return of fans in small numbers this season has been planned only for the League Cup final and FA Cup.

"Although turnover for the year was £112.6m, substantially up from £54.3m in the previous year, the unexpected cost of the pandemic contributed to a total loss of £99.2m compared to £68.9m in 2018-19," the club said in a statement.

"Thanks to the unwavering support of our owners, the operating loss and all capital investment has been funded by shareholder equity. Aston Villa remains debt free."

Other clubs who announced losses include Manchester City (£126m) and Arsenal (£47.8m) but Chelsea recorded a profit of 32.5 million pounds in the last financial year.

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