Long-term Aston Villa absentees Bertrand Traore and Trezeguet are both edging ever closer to making their competitive returns, boss Steven Gerrard has confirmed.
Traore has been missing for nearly two months after picking up a thigh injury while on international duty with Burkina Faso; the 26-year-old hasn’t completed 90 minutes this season for Villa, and his only start came in the EFL Cup defeat at his former club Chelsea.
Gerrard, who also has Emi Buendia, Leon Bailey and Anwar El Ghazi as his wide options, while Ashley Young has proven to be a viable alternative in the early stages of his tenure too, is hopeful that Traore will return to full training at Bodymoor Heath shortly before Christmas.
It does, though, put his Cup of African Nations campaign with Burkina Faso in doubt.
Meanwhile, Egyptian international Trezeguet is nearing the end of his long road to recovery after suffering a cruciate ligament injury at Liverpool last April.
He was just getting going again with a brace against Fulham the week before when he was struck down with season-ending set-back and he’s put in hours and hours of rehabilitation both at home and abroad to ensure that he’s back and available to Villa as soon as is reasonably possible.
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The first port of call for Trezeguet will be to get a run-out for Mark Delaney’s PL2 side, something which could happen in the very near future.
“Bertrand Traore is progressing really well, but he won’t return to training until probably just before Christmas,” Gerrard explained.
“We’re looking for Trezeguet to get his first minutes in terms of game time for the 23s as early as possible.”