By Will Butcher

Steve Bruce has revealed that Aston Villa star Leandro Bacuna will not return from injury until after the international break.

The Dutch utility star was ruled out of Villa’s hotly-contested derby against Birmingham City on Sunday at the eleventh hour with a groin injury, after picking up the knock in training.

Quoted in the Birmingham Mail, new boss Bruce revealed that Aston Villa’s number seven will now be sidelined until November 18 but was full of admiration for his replacement Ashley Westwood.

“He [Bacuna] did his groin in training,” Bruce said. “I think three weeks for him. That was upsetting because he was starting the game.

“But I have to say, Westwood did terrific filling in for him. He did really well.”

Versatile star Bacuna, who can play in midfield and in defence, is now set to miss Villa’s game against Championship strugglers Blackburn on Saturday.

Bruce, 55, was speaking to the media after watching his side draw 1-1 against Gray Rowett’s Birmingham City.

Solihull-born star Gary Gardner had given Villa the lead in the first half with a looping header that found the net beyond the reach of Blues goalkeeper Tomasz Kuczszak.

However, Gardner’s first ever Villa goal was cancelled out by midfielder David Davis in the second half, who struck a superbly placed shot into the corner of Pierluigi Gollini’s net.

The draw maintains Bruce’s unbeaten start to life as Villa boss, as they sit in 16th place following his arrival.

In other Aston Villa news, Gardner has posted this message after scoring his first goal for Villa in five years of trying.