Aston Villa have been dealt a major blow to their season with midfielder John McGinn set for a prolonged spell on the sidelines with a fractured ankle.
McGinn was sent to hospital for scans on Saturday night after falling awkwardly following a challenge on Southampton’s Cedric Soares.
Villa are yet to confirm how long they expect the 25-year-old will be sidelined for, but it could be up to a period of three months.
There were initial fears that the Scotland international could miss the remainder of the campaign, and while those fears have been allayed the midfielder is still expected to be sidelined for a minimum of two months.
The news comes at the worst possible time for Villa boss Dean Smith, whose side face relegation rivals Norwich and Watford before the start of the new year.
McGinn has been a key figure for Villa on their return to the Premier League this season and his absence will add to Smith’s concerns after a poor run of form.
They have won just once in their last nine top-flight outings, losing their last four fixtures, and the 3-1 defeat to Southampton saw them slip into the relegation zone.