Villa ace McGinn on the road to recovery

Aston Villa
John McGinn

Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn is set to step up his recovery from an ankle injury by training on grass this week.

McGinn was essential in helping Villa to win promotion from the Championship last season after completing a £2.5million move from Hibernian.

Villa profited from his creativity in the middle-third, scoring seven and assisting nine, including a 25-yard volley against Sheffield Wednesday which was later named EFL Championship goal of the season.

He netted the winner in the Championship play-off final as Villa earned a 2-1 triumph over Derby and subsequently returned to the Premier League for the first time since 2015-16.

Dean Smith made 12 permanent signings over the summer but McGinn’s spot in the starting XI never came into question.

The 25-year-old was understood to be a target for Manchester United over the summer, however, Villa managed to keep him out of their clutches.

After a positive start to the season, which saw him register three times in 18 appearances, McGinn’s campaign was halted when he sustained a broken ankle injury in the 3-1 loss at home to Southampton.

Smith has always maintained that McGinn would likely be back in action before the end of the term and, having avoided any further complications, he is on track to make that happen.

McGinn has been doing resistance work in a swimming pool over the past week and reports claim he will take his first steps on grass on Wednesday.

It’s claimed that Villa’s medical team as positive about his recovery and will hand McGinn the chance to go through some running drills at their Bodymoor Heath training complex.

His chances of being ready for the Carabao Cup clash with Manchester City on March 1 still look bleak but he is expected to be back for the crucial run-in.

The Birmingham-based club are in a relegation dogfight and his availability will be a timely boost to Smith as they attempt to avoid an immediate return to the second-tier.