By UK media
Premiership side Aston Villa are hopeful Marvelous Nakamba could make his Premier League return for Saturday’s visit of Tottenham.
The midfielder completed an hour for the club’s under-23s last Friday, in what was his first action since undergoing knee surgery in December.
Nakamba will now be assessed over the course of the week in the hope he will be ready to play some part against Spurs, as Villa look to end a three-match losing streak.
Boss Steven Gerrard should have Lucas Digne available after the left-back was forced out of Saturday’s 2-1 derby defeat at Wolves with a stomach complaint.
Nakamba’s return will deliver a timely boost to Gerrard and bolster a Villa midfield which has become the subject of increasing scrutiny during a season now threatening to fizzle out.
Former Villa coach Dean Smith had rarely favoured the Zimbabwe international during his final months at the helm in Birmingham. But Nakamba quickly established himself as a key figure in the Aston Villa engine room following Gerrard’s arrival during the November international fixtures.
Of the 28-year-old’s 12 Premier League appearances and eight starts so far this season, he opened five of a possible five under Gerrard. Saturday could now see that run end with an outing from the bench, as Nakamba eyes playing a part to some extent at home to Spurs.
Gerrard will surely be buzzing with Aston Villa hopeful Nakamba will make his return from injury on Saturday against Tottenham. Douglas Luiz took over the middle role in the engine room in December, but the Brazilian has struggled to consistently take control of matches.
That was seldom the case with Nakamba during Gerrard’s first spate of fixtures at the Villa Park helm. A period in which the 26-cap anchor’s displays stunned his new manager vastly.
“He’s been fantastic,” Gerrard said, via quotes by Birmingham Live. “He’s been really open, his two performances have been outstanding. We were aware of Marvelous before we came in, but he’s somebody who has really stood up and jumped out.”