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2nd May, 2017 | 3:11pm

Shattering Aston Villa blow as return date of 27-year-old ace revealed

By Will Butcher

Aston Villa have revealed that Jonathan Kodjia could miss the start of the 2017-18 season after suffering a broken ankle against Blackburn on Saturday.

The 27-year-old went down after twisting his ankle during the 1-0 defeat to Tony Mowbray’s side, and was replaced by Albert Adomah in the 72nd minute.

Villa revealed on their official website that Ivory Coast international Kodjia had indeed broken his ankle, and would now travel to Europe to visit specialists in Europe for “further tests”.

The Midlands outfit claim that the former Bristol City striker is likely to need surgery on the injury and could be ruled out beyond the start of next season.

The injury news will come as a huge blow to manager Steve Bruce, who is looking to mount a promotion charge in the Championship next season, which would be the fifth of his career.

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Kodjia, who signed for £15million from Lee Johnson’s Robins in the summer, has been in sublime form for a side that has struggled to find the back of the net on a consistent basis this term.

Making 40 Championship appearances this term, Kodjia sits just one goal away from reaching 20 strikes for the season and has also laid on a further two goals in assists.

Kodjia will certainly miss Villa’s last game of the season on Saturday, as they look to play a huge part in who gets promoted as Premier League champions when they play Brighton at Villa Park.

In other Aston Villa news, here are three reasons why this released Norwich City star would solve a problem area in Bruce’s squad.

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