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    Dean Smith reveals Ross Barkley’s hamstring injury is ‘not as bad’ as Aston Villa first feared

    Dean Smith reveals Ross Barkley’s hamstring injury is ‘not as bad’ as Aston Villa first feared – but loanee is still expected to miss next three games with club keen not to rush him back into action

    • Ross Barkley is expected to return to action for Aston Villa in mid-December 
    • The Chelsea loanee came off with a hamstring injury in the defeat by Brighton 
    • Dean Smith has revealed Barkley’s strain is not as bad as the club first feared 
    • Villa are keen not to rush the midfielder back into action and risk another injury 

    Ross Barkley’s hamstring injury is not as bad as first feared, Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has revealed.

    The Chelsea loanee is likely to be out until the middle of December after coming off in last week’s 2-1 defeat to Brighton.

    He is likely to miss Villa’s next three games, starting with Monday’s Premier League trip to West Ham.

    Ross Barkley’s hamstring injury is not as bad as first feared, Aston Villa boss Dean Smith says

    Smith revealed Barkley will return next month due to the strain picked up against Brighton

    Smith revealed Barkley will return next month due to the strain picked up against Brighton

    ‘Ross obviously got a hamstring injury against Brighton so he’s going to be out for two or three weeks. Nothing more than that, it’s not as bad as what we first feared,’ Smith told a press conference.

    ‘He’s done a week already, obviously. We signed Ross because he’s a quality player and if you have quality players come out of your team it’s going to affect you a little bit.

    ‘Plus we’ve got nobody similar to Ross in terms of how he plays. So it will be a loss.

    Barkley was forced off in the defeat at Villa Park last weekend and will now miss three games

    Barkley was forced off in the defeat at Villa Park last weekend and will now miss three games

    The Chelsea star (left) has impressed since arriving on loan and has scored twice this season

    The Chelsea star (left) has impressed since arriving on loan and has scored twice this season

    ‘But we won our first two games without Ross as well, so we certainly haven’t lost sight of that. We’re not going to rush him because we don’t want to lose him again.’

    Villa go to West Ham on Monday aiming to maintain their 100 per cent away record which has helped lift them to seventh in the top flight ahead of the weekend.

    They stunned Arsenal 3-0 earlier this month and have also won at Fulham and Leicester this season, with Smith’s side yet to concede on the road.

    Frederic Guilbert has returned to training with Kortney Hause but Bjorn Engels (thigh) remains out along with Wesley and Tom Heaton (both knee).

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