Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish has been ruled out for at least three months after suffering a nasty injury in pre-season.
The 21 year-old had to be admitted to hospital following a collision with Watford’s Tom Cleverly, where he damaged his kidney, in a goalless draw on Saturday. Grealish had been impressive in Villa’s final pre-season encounter against the Hornets, before he was forced off late in the first half.
Speaking to the BBC, Villa manager Steve Bruce confirmed the seriousness of the injury:
“It’s very painful and he’s still in hospital, which tells you something about the extent of the injury. We wish him a speedy recovery because the kid’s still in a lot of pain.”
Bruce added that the nature of the injury means it is difficult to assess just how long he will be sidelined for:
“It will be at least three months and it could be much longer than that. He’s poorly at the moment, I went to see him in hospital. We’re obviously disappointed with the injury.
He’s still in hospital and things aren’t great. We hope that he has a speedy recovery, of course, as losing him is a blow to us.”
Grealish, who was capped at underage level for the Republic of Ireland but famously declared for England in 2015 after months of speculation, made 33 appearances for the Villains last season as they struggled to adapt to life in the Championship.
Having invested significantly in the squad over the past twelve months, his absence will be a blow to the Birmingham side as they attempt to bounce back to the Premier League at the second time of asking. They begin their campaign this weekend when they host freshly-relegated Hull City at Villa Park.
Ger Power, Pundit Arena