by Mat Kendrick
MARC Albrighton is expected to miss the first six to eight weeks of the campaign with the broken foot which has hampered his pre-season preparations.
Albrighton sustained the injury during Villa’s first week of training last month and is scheduled to return in early October.
The 22-year-old winger’s metatarsal stress fracture has delayed his hopes of impressing new boss Paul Lambert.
Albrighton is still wearing a protective boot on the affected foot and is closely following the instructions of a specialist to aid his recovery.
Villa’s medical staff are happy with Albrighton’s progress and hope his naturally high fitness levels will help to speed up his comeback.
Albrighton burst onto the first team scene in impressive style in 2010-11, but by his own admission failed to live up to those standards last term.
Gabby Agbonlahor is also out for a month with a knee problem sustained in America, while Richard Dunne is set to be sidelined for even longer with a groin injury.