Villa striker Kodjia set for spell on the sidelines
Aston Villa star Jonathan Kodjia will be out of action for "two or three weeks" after fracturing his cheekbone.
Ivory Coast international Kodjia collided with Marvelous Nakamba, one of 12 new summer arrivals at Villa Park, during training this week and the full extent of the injury has now been revealed.
Manager Dean Smith was initially hopeful the issue was not that serious but has now confirmed the 29-year-old has undergone surgery on a fractured cheekbone.
“He just clashed heads with Marvelous Nakamba in a non-competitive part of training,” he told a press conference. “We thought it was OK but they’ve picked up a fracture at the hospital and he’s had an operation on that now, and he’ll be out for two or three weeks.”
Kodjia, who scored nine Championship goals last season, has been restricted to just 16 minutes of Premier League football this season, having been kept out of the starting line-up by new recruit Wesley, who joined from Club Brugge.
The Saint-Denis-born star is still seen as a key part of Villa’s squad although failure to earn more opportunities by January could see the striker push for an exit in the next transfer window.
Villa have endured a tricky return to England’s top flight after gaining promotion via the play-offs last season. They sit 18th in the table going into the weekend’s fixture, taking just three points from a possible 12.
The Villans’ only victory came at home to Everton – a 2-0 success towards the end of August – and it could be a long campaign battling against relegation for the West Midlands outfit.
Smith’s men face a crucial run of games over the next few weeks, with a home clash against West Ham United on Monday evening followed by a trip to the Emirates to take on Arsenal.
James Mason grew up in Northumberland so is entrenched in both the football and golf scenes. A low handicap golfer, he also follows Newcastle United and predicts big things under Rafa Benitez.