Aston Villa boss hopes to have Jedinak back this week

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has revealed to the club’s official website that Mile Jedinak could return to fitness in time for the Championship clash against Derby County this Saturday.

What’s the latest?

It has been a frustrating season for the Australian international so far as he has made just six league appearances.

After scoring a surprise hat-trick for his country in a World Cup qualifier last month, there was hope that the midfielder would kick on at domestic level.

However, Jedinak ended up suffering a shoulder injury a 2-0 win over Ipswich Town on November 25.

The positive news, though, is that the 33-year-old is closing in on a return to action.

Following Villa’s goalless draw with Millwall, Bruce told the club’s official website.

“Jedinak has trained again this morning with some physicality. He could make an entrance, which would be good to see.”

Can Villa cope without him?

Given that Jedinak has started just two league matches and the club still find themselves in fifth place indicates that the team are managing in his absence.

Glenn Whelan has been the constant figure in the middle of the park, and after facing early criticism from the fans, the Irishman has been doing a solid job.

The hectic festive schedule is always a big test for clubs, particularly those in the second tier hunting for promotion.

Bruce and his competitors will need as many options to select from in order to cope with the demands of this stage of the season.

The sooner Jedinak is fighting fit, the better.