Fabian Delph’s season is over after the midfielder’s frustratingly unfulfilled Villa career took another turn for the worse.
Delph visited a specialist in London this week to discover the extent of the ankle injury sustained on loan at Leeds.
It is unknown whether Delph will require surgery, but Alex McLeish confirmed the 22-year-old is unlikely to be fit enough to play again this season.
“He’s not fit. I don’t know if he’ll play again this season,” said McLeish. Delphy doesn’t do it in little bits and starts, when he does it, he does it.
“I think he’s rolled his ankle sufficiently enough to rule him out. It’s a shame.
“It could have happened if he was playing here, but the thing is we wanted him to go out and get regular games to see if he could get over these ailments that he’s had.
“Hopefully if he comes back stronger in the summer then we’ll see a different player.”
Delph made a steady if unspectacular contribution during his five-game return to former club Leeds before injuring himself in a tackle during the second half of last Tuesday’s defeat at Coventry.
His loan spell was due to end after this weekend’s game against Portsmouth. It is the latest in a long line of setbacks for Delph since his £6m summer move from Elland Road in 2009. He ruptured his cruciate ligament in April 2010, hurt his ankle late last season and his progress this term has been hampered by a series of niggles and inconsistent form.
Richard Dunne (collarbone) and Ciaran Clark (knee) are also out injured.
There is better news on Gabby Agbonlahor who has returned to training and is in contention for Saturday’s trip to Wigan.
“Gabby’s trained this week and looked very sharp,” said McLeish.