Aston Villa goalkeeper Tom Heaton is reportedly closing in on a return to the first-team picture.
The Birmingham Mail have brought an injury update on the 34-year-old, who has not played for Villa since suffering knee ligament damage against Burnley on New Year’s Day.
The three-cap England international has been working away at Bodymoor Heath, and it seems now it won’t be too much longer before Dean Smith can call upon him once again, with the report claiming he is ‘very close’ to a full recovery.
Dean Smith has said that, while the former Burnley man didn’t feature in a behind-closed-doors game against Coventry City last week, he is ‘throwing himself about’ with goalkeeping coach Neil Cutler.
That is certainly encouraging news for Villa, although it has to be said the starting XI are not exactly missing him at this moment in time.
The Villans missed Heaton badly in the second half of 2019/20 even though the club ultimately staved off relegation.
But right now, new signing Emi Martinez is in remarkable form, and £42,000-a-week star Heaton’s (Spotrac) task of getting back into the starting XI will be a great one.
TBR’s View – Great news for Villa
Although Martinez is surely in no danger of losing his starting berth after the start he’s had, it’s great news for Villa that Heaton’s return is now very close.
It will mean that Villa have two fantastic stoppers to chose from and it can only be a good thing to have them both pushing each other.