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Aston Villa injury update: Eric Black discusses defenders

Villa could have Ciaran Clark back for the weekend's clash with Watford, but Kieran Richardson remains sidelined with a calf problem.

Ciaran Clark looks likely to return to the Aston Villa squad for Saturday’s trip to Watford, caretaker manager Eric Black has revealed at his pre-match press conference.

The 26-year-old centre-back sat out last weekend’s 4-2 home defeat to Southampton with an ankle injury but has since returned to full training and could now feature against the Hornets providing he suffers no late setbacks.

Micah Richards is also expected to be available despite coming off at half-time of the Saints loss with a knock, but Kieran Richardson has failed to recover from the calf problem which kept him out of the game.

Elsewhere, long-term absentee Jordan Amavi is making good progress in his rehabilitation from cruciate knee ligament damage, having resumed light running over recent weeks, but he will not be able to re-join the senior squad before the end of the season.

“The only major injury we have ongoing at the moment is obviously Amavi, who’s getting treatment for his long-term,” Black said at his press conference. “Richardson still has a calf injury which will keep him out of the squad.

“Ciaran Clark trained a little bit today, so we’ll have to see what his reaction is to that tomorrow and whether he can be included in the squad.”

Meanwhile, the little-used Libor Kozak has also taken to social media to give an update on his own fitness as his first-team absence continues.

The 26-year-old Czech striker has not played for Villa since injuring his ankle in January’s 0-0 draw at West Bromwich Albion, but Black revealed ahead of the 2-1 loss to Bournemouth earlier this month that he had declared himself fit for action.

However, the former Lazio man has now revealed that he has been forced to undergo an operation which will keep him out for the rest of the campaign, writing on his official Instagram page: "I have had to have another small surgery but thankfully nothing serious and in two months I should be back on the pitch!

"Unfortunately, in the last couple of years I haven't really played because of injuries. It wasn't easy... Sometimes it's been really hard!

"However there are still people who continue to believe in me...and that's why I want to play again more than ever because this is what really matters in the end. Thank you."

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