Aston Villa boss Dean Smith admits John McGinn faces losing his battle to be fit for next month’s Carabao Cup final showdown with Manchester City. The midfielder has been on the sidelines since suffering a fractured ankle in the Villans’ 3-1 Premier League defeat to Southampton on December 21.
Smith’s side have experienced mixed results ever since, with wins over Norwich, Burnley and Watford intermingled with defeats to the Hornets, City and Bournemouth.
Reaching the Carabao Cup final has been a silver lining as Villa have slipped perilously close to the relegation zone, with just a point keeping them out of it at present.
Fans had been hoping McGinn would be available again for the showpiece Wembley showdown as Villa look to upset the odds and win their first major trophy since 1996.
However, Smith says the Scotland international is still some way off being fully fit and will probably have to sit out the trip to north London.
Smith said: “He’s out of the boot, he’s been out of it for the last week or two. He’s pushing the medical staff all the time to hasten his recovery. He’s a really, really energetic person as well as a player.
“He’s well liked around the place and he’ll be pushing me to try and get back for that cup final. But I think it’ll be a week or two later than that, but it won’t be for the want of trying with John.”
McGinn’s injury left a gaping hole in Villa’s midfield, with Danny Drinkwater loaned in from Chelsea in January to make up for his absence.
Drinkwater struggled on debut against City, though, and has missed the recent 2-1 wins over Leicester and Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup and Premier League respectively.
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