Dean Smith has confirmed that Aston Villa ace Andre Green can't start games because he is at a 'high risk' of getting injured due to his lack of game time and recent hamstring strain.
The 20-year-old started from the bench as Villa suffered a damaging 1-0 defeat against Brentford at Griffin Park on Wednesday night.
He came on as a second-half substitute but failed to make an impact as Smith's side chances of finishing in the top six are all but over - they seven points behind the playoff spots, with others above them having a game in hand.
"I can't really start Andre Green because he has not played a lot of games," Smith told Sky Sports Football on 13/02/2019 at 7:35 pm.
"He's at high risk. He's had a hamstring strain not so long ago so I don't want to risk that and put him out for too long."
Villa's academy product Green was sent out on a season-long loan to League One side Portsmouth at the start of the season when Steve Bruce was in charge of the club.
During his time at the club, he made 12 appearances in all competitions, scoring two last-minute winners in the FA Cup against Rochdale and Championship high-flyers Norwich, according to transfermarkt.
He continued that last-minute scoring streak when he netted a stoppage-time equaliser during Villa's dramatic 3-3 draw against Sheffield United last Friday night.
Smith's side were losing the encounter 3-0 going into the final eight minutes of the match, but the introduction of Glenn Whelan and Green from the bench resulted in Villa snatching a remarkable point.
Nonetheless, Green will be looking to make his mark in Smith's starting XI in months to come as well as next season as the Midlands outfit will be relying upon his performances in seasons to come.