Aston Villa boss Remi Garde gives injury update ahead of Sunderland clash, responds to Gabby Agbonlahor speculation

Villa will likely have Jores Okore back from a knee injury for Saturday's game at the Stadium of Light, but Carlos Sanchez is set to miss out due to a hamstring problem.

Aston Villa centre-back Jores Okore could be back in the line-up for the weekend’s game at Sunderland, manager Remi Garde has revealed at his pre-match press conference.

Okore, 23, missed the first four months of the season after undergoing a knee operation in the summer but has since started four games for the club after making his first-team comeback in the 1-1 draw at Southampton earlier this month.

However, the Denmark international suffered a reoccurrence of his persistent knee problem during last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with West Ham United and subsequently sat out the 2-0 loss at Norwich City on Monday as result.

Garde admitted at the time that he did not know whether he would be fit to feature at the Stadium of Light, but he has now revealed that the promising defender is back in training and in contention to make the trip – providing he does not suffer a setback later in the week.

The same cannot be said for Carlos Sanchez, however, as he is set to spend another week on the sidelines after being forced off in the first half of the West Ham game with a hamstring problem.

"Jores will train this morning, which was not the case before the previous game,” Garde told reporters. “But Carlos is out for probably more than days – it's about one week probably – because of his hamstring."

2015-16 Premier League Total TacklesTackle AccuracyTotal ClearancesHeaders WonHeader SuccessInterceptionsPassing AccuracyBall RecoveriesAppearancesMins Played
Jores Okore 7 29% 25 3 60% 8 84% 20 4 360

Another player who will not be featuring on Saturday is Gabby Agbonlahor.

The 29-year-old striker is currently unable to train due to a back injury, but he likely would have been left out of the squad even if fit given the current speculation surrounding his future.

Garde has so far handed the long-serving forward just one brief substitute appearance in his first eight games in charge and revealed earlier this month that the pair had run into a disagreement over unspecified matters.

Recent reports have since linked the the former England international with an imminent departure [h/t The Sun], and while Garde was keeping tight-lipped regarding the rumours, he did stress that he would not stand in any player’s way if they wanted to leave the club in January.

“For the moment, Gabby’s not training,” the Frenchman added at his press conference. “He’s struggling with his back. I can’t tell you more than that. If a player wants to leave, or if he comes to me and says, ‘I want to leave’, I will have a discussion.

“We need players who believe in the project and the possibility to be safe. I tell you that, but Gabby for the moment is injured and this is the main problem for me.”

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