Soccer

Jack Grealish in race to prove fitness for England ahead of Euro 2020

Jack Grealish is in race to prove his fitness ahead of Euro 2020 after suffering shin injury setback… with Aston Villa boss Dean Smith admitting captain will be absent ‘for at least a few more weeks’

  • Jack Grealish has missed Aston Villa’s last seven games with a shin injury 
  • Villa boss Smith insists Grealish will be back before the end of the campaign  
  • He admitted he was ‘too optimistic’ his captain would be back last weekend 
  • He hopes Grealish’s displays until now will be enough to book his England spot

Jack Grealish faces an anxious wait to prove his fitness for England’s Euro 2020 campaign after Aston Villa boss Dean Smith admitted his captain would be missing ‘for at least a few more weeks’.

The playmaker has suffered a setback in his return from a shin problem that has caused him to miss Villa’s previous seven games. Smith insists Grealish will be back before the end of the campaign but refused to put a timeline on his recovery.

Grealish is so important to Villa that Smith accepted both he and the player had been ‘too optimistic’ in trying to ensure he would return against Fulham last Sunday. The 25-year-old was ruled out of the game after complaining of further shin pain during training the day before.

Jack Grealish faces an anxious wait to prove his fitness ahead of England’s Euros campaign

Grealish has suffered a shin injury setback having missed Aston Villa’s last seven games

‘He is a young lad and he gets frustrated when he is not playing and probably one of the reasons why we tried to get him back a little bit earlier,’ said Smith. ‘It’s a setback we didn’t see.

‘It’s happened and now he knows he’s got to be stricter. We have to make sure we de-load him and be stricter with ourselves as well. He recognises it’s his career.

‘He’s got the Euros at the end of the season that he is fighting to get fit for, as well as Aston Villa. He is mindful of everything. We know it’s not a long-term injury. A couple of weeks off his feet should see him back flying.

Dean Smith said he was ‘too optimistic’ in hoping the club captain would return vs Fulham

‘For me there is no danger of Jack not playing before the end of the season. How soon that is I don’t know.’ Grealish shone for England last autumn after breaking into the senior squad for the first time and has sparkled for Villa too, with seven goals and 10 assists in all competitions.

Smith is hopeful that his displays for Villa until now will be enough to book his spot in Gareth Southgate’s final squad, even if his appearances between now and the end of the season are limited.

He added: ‘It’s not my decision whether he goes to the Euros or not but he has contributed massively to a productive season for Aston Villa. He has certainly got some credit in the bank for those performances.’

Smith is hopeful his displays for Villa until now will be enough to book his spot at the Euros




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