Villa concerns over defenders fitness

Aston Villa are sweating on the fitness of defender Alan Hutton after he sustained a facial injury in their defeat to West Brom at Villa Park on Saturday.

The Scotland international required seven stitches after colliding with teammate Charles N’Zogbia just before half time in the Midlands derby with boss Alex McLeish having to substitute him.

27-year-old Hutton is now struggling to regain fitness as the wound, which is just above his eye, is seriously affecting his vision making him a doubt for Saturdays game to Sunderland.

Villa assistant manager Peter Grant admits the injury has yet to heal properly and thinks it is unlikely the defender will be available for the trip to the North East.

He said: “His eye was closing on Saturday and it is still like that. He is touch and go for the weekend because of where the cut is.

“It means he has to be careful with heading. If he gets a knock it could just open up.”

McLeish’s options at right back are limited especially after Luke Young moved to QPR in August which could force him into hand a first team recall to either Carlos Cuellar or Habib Beye for the game at the Stadium of Light.

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