Alan Hutton has admitted it was a “hammer blow” to see Jack Grealish ruled out with an injury setback before Aston Villa took on Fulham.
The former Villa defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, revealed the 25-year-old had been “buzzing” to get back out after his recent layoff.
Speaking after Sunday’s 3-1 win, Dean Smith confirmed Grealish had felt “sore” in training on Saturday and as such was not risked.
"There's an awful lot of character in this dressing room." 💯
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) April 4, 2021
The Villans’ talisman has now missed seven games since suffering a shin injury in training.
Hutton, who is still in touch with Grealish and other old teammates, revealed the attacking midfielder was so excited to get back playing.
As such, he admitted the setback was a kick in the teeth for everybody.
Hutton told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “I really felt for him. When I did speak to him he was buzzing to get back, he was up for that. Then to have a little setback the day before training…
“I think Dean Smith’s press conference was that morning, and it hadn’t happened yet, so he was obviously really looking forward to getting Jack back. He trained really well.
“Then to feel a little bit of discomfort in the same area that morning in training was a real hammer blow for everybody.
“I do feel for him and let’s just hope that it’s a precaution. He’s maybe just felt a little twinge and will even be back sooner than the last time.”
Grealish has played 22 times, scored six goals and contributed 12 assists in 22 Premier League games this term.
Prior to Sunday, Villa had only scored three times without the playmaker in the side.