The return of the Jedinak is getting closer
MILE Jedinak is edging closer to a first-team return for Villa and will be further assessed before the weekend.
The 33-year-old sat out Australia’s World Cup play-off with Syria on Tuesday in an attempt to clear up a longstanding groin problem.
He will be checked out before Villa’s trip to Wolves to see whether he has recovered in time for Saturday’s huge Championship clash.
“He was not quite right so I think common sense prevailed,” Villa boss Steve Bruce said about the collective decision for Jedinak to miss the international programme.
“Rather than flying him all around the world, he stayed here. He is making big strides.”
Whether those strides are big enough to have him in contention for Saturday is another matter.
Jedinak stayed in the Midlands to help speed up his recovery and Bruce is hopeful he will return.
The boss identified Jedinak as one of the key performers last season but a frustrating six-month period has seen him sidelined for large spells. The midfielder went under the knife in the summer to help heal his groin problem and subsequently missed the Confederations Cup.
He returned in August and played 45 minutes against Middlesbrough but was ruled out again soon after.
Whether Villa have really missed him so far this season is open to debate, however.
In truth, they aren’t far off where they would have hoped to be at this stage of the campaign and with Glenn Whelan and Conor Hourihane holding down the central spots during an eight-game unbeaten run, Jedinak would have struggled to make more of an impact anyway.
Bruce is already struggling to give Josh Onomah the game-time he would have hoped for when he arrived from Spurs – and that’s without mentioning Henri Lansbury and Callum O’Hare.