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Delph out until 2015


Paul Lambert, pictured, has been impressed with Tom Cleverley

Paul Lambert, pictured, has been impressed with Tom Cleverley

Paul Lambert, pictured, has been impressed with Tom Cleverley

Fabian Delph's operation on his dislocated shoulder has been a success - but he is not expected to play for Aston Villa again this year.

The England midfielder suffered the injury when he fell awkwardly in training last week.

He has now had surgery but has been ruled out for months in a major blow to Villa boss Paul Lambert.

He said: "Delph has had his operation, it went well and everything is on course. It's just a matter of getting him to do his rehab and getting him fit.

"I don't think you can put a timescale on it but he will be out for a few months. It's not a complicated injury, it's straightforward.

"Everything went fine and it is now a case of getting him back."

Delph, who is out of contract at the end of the season, has become a key player for Lambert and made his England debut this year.

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Villa travel to QPR on Monday without him although there is now an open spot in the midfield, with Joe Cole pushing to play.

He has played just nine minutes in the Barclays Premier League for the club since joining on a two-year deal after leaving West Ham in the summer.

Thigh and hip injuries have stalled his Villa career but Lambert believes the 32-year-old could be key against his old West Ham mentor, now QPR boss, Harry Redknapp.

"Obviously Harry will know him really well but I have a good player on my hands - someone who can unlock a door," he said.

"He's been as good as gold. We try and play at high tempo, high intensity. He's an excellent professional and has stayed behind after training, he's been really good.

"He had a thigh problem and that kept him out, then his hip. But the last few weeks he's been good.

"The number 10 role is Joe's strongest and that's where I see him. Systems are there to be adapted anyway, you can never really say you will play one way for the rest of the season anyway.

"I don't think Joe is too far away from starting, we will have to decide in the next couple of days. It will be a hard game and physical."

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