Villa's Grealish out of Sheffield United trip as 'frustrating' injury continues

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Brighton & Hove Albion v Aston Villa - The American Express Community Stadium, Brighton, Britain - February 13, 2021 Aston Villa's Jack Grealish reacts Pool via REUTERS/Neil Hall

(Reuters) - Aston Villa will be without captain Jack Grealish for a third Premier League game in a row when they face Sheffield United on Wednesday, manager Dean Smith said.

Grealish has still not recovered from a leg injury that he sustained in training last month but Smith said he was hopeful the England international will return to training later this week.

"He won't be ready for the game tomorrow, he's not travelling with us," Smith told a news conference on Tuesday.

"We'll decide whether we can get him on the training ground later in the week. He's working with the doctor and the rehab staff every day.

"It's frustrating because he's a top player and we'd be a better team having him in it. But it's one of those things - players get injured. It's how you cope without those top players."

In Grealish's absence, Dutch forward Anwar El Ghazi stepped up to score the winner against Leeds United on Saturday - his first goal in two months.

"He's done really well when he's been called upon. He had a really fruitful December and I think John McGinn came out with his new name – 'Anwar El Goalzi'," Smith said.

"He's just come into the team and he needs confidence. When he is a confident player, he looks one hell of a player."

Villa are ninth in the league standings with 39 points from 24 games, while Sheffield United are bottom.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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