By Laura O'Leary

30th Oct, 2017 | 2:30pm

Aston Villa handed major blow ahead of clash v Preston

By Laura O’Leary

Jonathan Kodjia had to be subbed off for Aston Villa in their game against Birmingham City, and Steve Bruce has revealed the striker is now a “big doubt” for Wednesday’s trip to Preston.

In an interview with the Express and Star, Bruce revealed that Kodjia had damaged the same ankle that had kept him out for the first part of the season.

He said: “He’s gone over on his ankle, the same one he had in the summer.

“We don’t know how bad it is now but certainly he looks a big doubt for Wednesday.”

Kodjia was forced to leave the field in the 82nd minute and was replaced by Scott Hogan.

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The striker took a shot which hit the crossbar in the second city derby, but prior to this he had lost his footing in the box and this seems to be where the damage was sustained.

The Ivory Coast international’s last ankle injury came in April, when he broke it against Blackburn Rovers, and it kept him out of action for four months.

Bruce did try to play down fears of another long-spell out, by mentioning that he was just being safe with the striker as the player himself wanted to continue.

He said: “You can never tell with Kodjia, he’s disappointed because he didn’t want to come off.

“But I don’t know how bad it is, I’m only speculating.”

Despite the injury-plagued start to his season, Kodjia has managed to make eight appearances in the Championship for Aston Villa so far, contributing one goal in the process.

The 28-year-old has been at Aston Villa since 2016 after moving from Bristol City for a reported £15 million, a Championship record fee at the time.

In other Aston Villa news, James Chester reveals which summer signing has impressed him.

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