Aston Villa starlet Marc Albrighton is facing up to a month on the sidelines after having his appendix removed.
The 21-year-old, who recently agreed a new long-term deal with the club, fell ill prior to the game at Blackburn last weekend and was diagnosed with appendicitis.
An article on Villa’s official website read: “Albrighton’s absence was a blow to boss Gerard Houllier as he prepared his team for the Ewood Park clash, with the winger penned to start against Rovers.
“His subsequent time on the sidelines will be frustrating for the manager too, since the young wing wizard has proved to be one of the leading lights of the season so far.
“The midfield ace, just turned 21, has tormented defences with his brilliant attacking displays this term and has bagged three goals already – against Tottenham at White Hart Lane, against Fulham at Craven Cottage and against Manchester United at Villa Park.”