Aston Villa injury news: Remi Garde gives update on Adama Traore's status

The 20-year-old winger has been sidelined since early January with a broken foot.

Aston Villa manager Remi Garde has revealed that Adama Traore is closing in on a return to action after two months out with a broken foot.

Adama, 20, joined Villa from Barcelona last August for a reported £7 million fee, having starred for the Catalan club’s B team in the Spanish second tier over the previous two seasons.

Widely considered one of Europe's top prospects at the time, the pacey winger’s arrival was greeted with a significant amount of fanfare, but he has since seen form and fitness issues limit him to just nine Premier League substitute appearances and one Capital One Cup start, recording one goal and two assists in the process.

He did seem to be making a good claim for a starting spot during the festive period after a handful of bright cameo performances, but the Spanish-born Malian’s progress was soon curtailed when he broke his foot in the 3-1 defeat at Sunderland.

He has since missed the club’s last 12 games and will sit out a 13th this weekend along with Jack Grealish, Libor Kozak, Carlos Sanchez and fellow long-term absentee Jordan Amavi when title contenders Tottenham Hotspur visit Villa Park.

However, having recently seen him make good progress in his recovery, Garde is hoping to have the former Barca starlet available for selection again in the near future.

Asked by reports at his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s match whether Adama could be back, the Villa boss said: “Not yet. He’s closer and closer every week, but he’s not fit yet.

“Of course, I’m frustrated not to have all my players available for selection,” he continued. “It’s like for Jack, Libor, Carlos Sanchez – sometimes when I look at the football matches on TV, you realise how important certain players are. When you lose one or two key players, the game is not the same at all.

“And of course, not having Jordan Amavi as well has been a big blow to Aston Villa’s season. I will be very happy as soon as I have 20 or 22 players available for selection.”

Villa, meanwhile, currently sit nine points from safety at the foot of the table ahead of Sunday’s clash with second-place Spurs, having recorded just three wins in their 29 games and scored a division-low 22 goals.

With only nine matches left, their survival chances look decidedly slim at this stage, especially with such a tough fixture coming up this weekend.

Maurio Pochettino’s men go into the game five points behind league leaders Leicester, and having fielded a much-changed team in last night’s 3-0 Europa League defeat at Borussia Dortmund, Garde is expecting them to come out all guns blazing.

“Spurs are a strong team,” he said at his press conference. “It’s a club that has improved a lot during the last 10 years. I’ve looked at the table for Spurs over the last 10 years and it’s been a very good run, to be fair. Only once they’ve finished below 10th.

“It’s going to be difficult for us, but it’ll be difficult for them to win the title as well because the race will be tough at the top of the table.

“They played a very strong team in Dortmund, so the game yesterday was tough, but I’m not relying on a bad run starting for Tottenham. These are two different competitions and I know the possibility for Spurs to win the title is something that will give them motivation.”

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