Steven Gerrard has been handed a big injury boost regarding Aston Villa left-back Lucas Digne.
That’s according to a report by French publication L’Equipe, who claim that, despite initial fears that the 29-year-old’s stress fracture in his ankle would keep him sidelined for between 6-7 weeks, the defender’s latest scans appear to show that his injury is not as bad as first feared.
The report goes on to state that the France international now looks set to miss just 2-3 weeks of action, potentially seeing him make a return to first-team football in mid-October – something that would provide Digne with more than enough time to regain full fitness ahead of the World Cup this winter.
Considering just how many injuries Aston Villa players have sustained already this season – with Boubacar Kamara suffering knee ligament damage in the 1-0 win over Southampton earlier this month, Matty Cash having been struggling with a hamstring strain in recent weeks and Diego Carlos being yet to feature for Villa due to an Achilles tendon injury – the latest update on Digne is undoubtedly great news for Gerrard.
Indeed, the £22.5m-rated full-back has been an incredibly important player for the 42-year-old manager following his appointment at Villa Park last November, featuring in all but one of the 25 fixtures in which he has been available for selection under the management of Gerrard, chipping in with one goal and registering four assists along the way.
So far this season, the £163k-per-week talent has started all seven of Villa’s Premier League fixtures, helping his side keep one clean sheet, as well as making an average of 1.4 interceptions, 2.3 tackles, 2.3 clearances and winning 6.4 duels – at a success rate of 58% – per game.
These returns have seen the 29-year-old average an impressive SofaScore match rating of 6.81, currently ranking him as Villa’s joint 11th-best performer in the top flight of English football so far this season – demonstrating his importance within Gerrard’s first-team squad.
As such, considering the severely bad luck Villa have suffered concerning injuries so far this season, the latest news on Digne will most certainly come as a big boost to the 42-year-old and his side, who now only look as if they will have to make do without the Frenchman for 2-3 weeks rather than the two months first feared.