Tim Sherwood has provided a fitness update on his squad ahead of the weekend's trip to Southampton.
The centre-back has missed the past three matches after coming off injured in the first-half of last month’s 2-1 FA Cup semi-final win over Liverpool, with Jores Okore since taking his place in the line-up.
The knee problem which sidelined him was feared to have ended his season at the time but the former trainee has since defied expectations to give himself a chance of featuring during the final weeks of the campaign.
The Saints clash itself has come too soon but Sherwood believes that he could make it back for the Burnley and Arsenal encounters if his recovery stays on track.
"Nathan hasn't trained for too many days,” said the Villa boss. "It will be too early for him this weekend."
Elsewhere, Sherwood also confirmed that Libor Kozak has been dealing with a back issue which has curtailed his comeback chances.
The Czech striker has not seen first-team action for over 16 months after suffering a horrific leg break in a training ground collision, but he had featured for the Under-21s last month before the latest setback.
However, the problem is not thought to be serious, with Sherwood describing it as just a “wear and tear” injury, offering some hope that he could still feature during the run-in.