By Ben Dinnery

15th Jan, 2022 | 10:00am

Medical expert: Bailey 'out until after winter break' in new Aston Villa blow

Leon Bailey will likely remain out of action for Aston Villa until “after the winter break”.

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

Bailey, 24, has not played since suffering a thigh injury in the 2-1 defeat to Man City on 1 December.

This is the Jamaican wide man’s third spell on the sidelines since his £25million move from Bayer Leverkusen last summer (2021).

Per The Sun yesterday (12 January), Steven Gerrard revealed that his injury factored into the decision to sign Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona.

Dinnery predicts that Bailey could play alongside his new Brazilian teammate when Villa return after the winter break on 9 February following what will have been an 18-day break between fixtures.

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He told Football Insider‘s Adam Williams: “I wouldn’t expect a return prior to that winter break, certainly not in the starting lineup.

“There is no indication he’ll back against Man United.

“It’s one of those injuries. When you suffer a recurrence, the typical return to play timeline is extended.

“He suffered that first injury and had around five weeks out. He returned and then was out again for around five weeks. Then he was sidelined again.

“They need to consider the long term. You’re looking to bring him back for the remainder of the season, not just a few games.

“Maybe err on the side of caution. Villa have been doing okay and aren’t crying out to get him back. Competition is fierce in that squad.

“He’ll be in contention for the starting XI after the break and there may be an opportunity to get some minutes off the bench prior to that.

“They’ll increase his workload during that break to get him ready for the run-in for the rest of the season.”

Bailey has registered one goal and two assists in nine appearances in Villa colours.

Coutinho meanwhile is yet to make his debut but is available to face Man United on Saturday (15 January).

In other news, Aston Villa agreed third January signing after Kerr Smith bid accepted.