Hutton: Grealish injury may be far worse than feared after new Aston Villa setback

Alan Hutton has admitted he fears Jack Grealish could be missing for longer than expected after a fresh setback at Aston Villa.

The former Holte End favourite, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 25-year-old needed to get the issue completely cleared up after similar issues in the past.

Dean Smith confirmed last week Grealish would be out for “at least a couple of weeks” after suffering a “setback” in training.

The attacking midfielder has not featured since mid-February, despite optimism from Smith that he would be back swiftly from the shin injury.

Grealish suffered a similar problem during the 2018/19 season which kept him out of action for two-and-a-half months.

Villa have struggled creatively without their attacking talisman, with just two wins and seven goals scored in eight games.

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Hutton admitted while the Villans needed him back quickly, he feared another lengthy layoff for his old teammate.

Asked if he expected Grealish to be back before the end of the month, Hutton told Football Insider‘s Russell Edge: “Fingers crossed. I mean, if we look over it, they’ve won two games of their last eight without him. Two draws, struggled to create except for the Fulham game. It’s been a difficult spell without him.

“We know how important he is and it must be difficult for Dean Smith because everybody talks about it. When they get beat, when they draw, that’s all he hears: ‘When’s Jack back? when’s Jack back?’ It must be frustrating.

“We hope it’s just a little setback where he just felt it and it’s only going to be a couple of weeks but I think this is something he has to get right. It’s reared its ugly head again. It’s been a few times, the season before last, now this season.

“We know it’s a load-bearing injury. The tackles he gets, he has to be careful with it. He doesn’t want this to keep recurring after a few weeks. Sometimes you just have to take your time.

“Be patient and let it heal, which I think they will do, instead of just rushing him back. Hopefully, it will just be a couple of weeks they do have to take the time and get this right.” 

In other news, an England international has been tipped to quit Aston Villa amid a major development.