Belfast Telegraph

Sidwell out until Christmas

Aston Villa midfielder Steve Sidwell is to undergo surgery on his troublesome Achilles and will be sidelined until Christmas.

Sidwell had been set to have an operation last month but postponed it because of Villa's midfield injury crisis. But the problem has flared up again and Villa boss Gerard Houllier is hoping that by going under the knife now, Sidwell will be available for the hectic festive programme.

Houllier confirmed: "Steve Sidwell will have an operation. You remember at some stage he was about to have it and had to delay it."

The former Liverpool manager added: "But his Achilles tendon has flared up again so the best thing is to do it now - as soon as possible.

"We will be hoping he will be back for the Christmas period when it is very busy."

Houllier has received more encouraging news about acting skipper Nigel Reo-Coker who suffered a knee injury against Fulham at the weekend.

It was initially feared Reo-Coker had suffered a torn ligament but he should be back training in two to three weeks.

Houllier said: "Nigel is not as bad as we thought. He could be back in training in two to three weeks.

"We thought it was a tear but it is just slight damage to the medial ligament. That is good news."

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