By support

27th Dec, 2016 | 12:33pm

Leeds injury boost as senior player fit for Villa showdown

By Matt Farr

Leeds manager Garry Monk has been handed a major boost as defender Kyle Bartley has been declared fit to face Aston Villa on Thursday.

The 25-year-old clashed heads with team-mate Luke Ayling, and required treatment during Leeds’ 4-1 victory over Preston on Monday.

The former Arsenal man was also on the receiving end of Jermaine Beckford’s boot, with the Preston striker earning a straight red-card.

Following the incident, there were fears over Bartley’s ability to participate in the upcoming clash with promotion rivals Aston Villa, but Garry Monk has reassured fans that Bartley’s condition was nothing serious.

He told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “Kyle will be fine for the Villa game. He had a little clash of heads with Luke Ayling but nothing serious.

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“He was feeling a little groggy, he had a bit of treatment at the end of the game but it was nothing more than that.”

Bartley has been one of Leeds’ star performers this season, and has been a mainstay at the heart of Monk’s defence.

Having played under Monk during his time at Swansea, Bartley has scored three goals in 27 appearances this season.

When Leeds and Aston Villa met earlier in the season, Leeds ran out 2-0 winners thanks to second-half goals from Kemar Roofe and Chris Wood.

Both sides have been in good form, with Leeds having won their last three games in the Championship. Steve Bruce’s Villa, meanwhile, have lost just two of their last 10 league games, including the defeat to Leeds.

Monk’s spirited side can move up to third with a win.

In other Leeds news, Football Insider reveals how this 23-year-old has gone from zero to hero under Monk.