At times over the past few seasons, a lot has been made of the excuse of player injuries. Recently the main injury card waved around was that of Jack Grealish’s absence. While his injury was far from ideal, most supporters would have expected a better return than just two wins in 15-odd games.
Villa’s luck though, seems to have turned.
With Villa’s injuries rapidly clearing up as they approach the home stretch re-energised by four wins on the bounce, the main concern coming out of the international break was the troubles and niggles of Tammy Abraham, who had missed out on playing for England U-21’s due to a knock.
“[Abraham] wasn’t quite right when he joined up with the England camp,” reflected Dean Smith in the pre-Blackburn presser.
“But we’re thankful to them that they’ve actually looked after him and given him some modified treatment on his groin as well as the fatigue injury on his calf which cramped up in the last game.”
The good news is supporters can expect Abraham to start against Rovers.
“He’s back in training now and fully fit now so we’re fortunate that we have an understanding international group,” added Smith.
“He got some good rest period with them and will be fighting fit for the game.”
Axel Tuanzebe and Henri Lansbury also are once again available for selection after long lay-offs, with Tuanzebe’s return giving Smith a loan headache of only being able to select five loans for his match day squad.
You’d expect Tuanzebe with his versatility to get the nod though and start on the bench on Saturday.
“They have trained really well,” said Smith.
“The only thing they haven’t had of late is match exposure. But they certainly put themselves into contention, which is really good.”
So, Villa who only have Tommy Elphick and James Chester to return, although now with Tuanzebe back, won’t need to rush them, are looking in good shape.
A win against Blackburn and we’ll certainly be able to dream again, as it’ll be the first step in starting to firm up a play-off spot.
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