By Ben Dinnery

1st Aug, 2022 | 12:28pm

Medical insider issues Aston Villa accusation amid Ezri Konsa latest

Aston Villa may have used “smoke and mirrors” to temper expectations about Ezri Konsa’s return-to-play timeline.

That is the view of medical expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries site and has a background in injury and data analysis.

Konsa, 24, missed the final weeks of 2021-22 with a medical collateral ligament injury.

As quoted by the Daily Mail back in May, Steven Gerrard initially claimed that the centre-back could miss up to “16 weeks” as his knee recoverd.

But he returned shortly after the nine-week mark to feature in Villa’s last three pre-season games.

Dinnery argues that Villa will have always been well aware that Konsa could defy the 16-week prognosis.

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“We need to factor in that there are always a lot of smoke and mirrors from the club’s side,” he told Football Insider’s Adam Williams.

“It is always in their best interests. Those projected return dates are what everyone wants to know. Journalists are hanging their hats on those words.

“It makes sense in terms of managing the pressure of the situation to go with a longer return-to-play timeline. We saw Marvelous Nakamba with a similar type of injury and he was closer to 16 weeks.

“Players respond to injuries differently. Internally, the club will always be hopeful that players are returning closer to the 10-week mark.

“It’s a win-win when players return ahead of schedule because it makes the player and the medical department look good. The fans and supporters are happy as well.”

In other news, Aston Villa in advanced talks to agree Douglas Luiz deal after Newcastle United bid.