Steve Bruce has confirmed he is not expecting John Terry to return to first-team action for Aston Villa until early 2018, despite the veteran defender taking part in training, reports the Birmingham Mail.
Terry has been absent since early November, after the 37-year-old suffered a broken metatarsal, which has kept him out of Villa’s last eight Sky Bet Championship fixtures.
However, after working tirelessly over the course of the last two months, Terry has returned to full training this week, with the club’s official Twitter feed (@AVFCOfficial) sharing photos of the ex-England captain back alongside his teammates.
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) December 27, 2017
Despite his return to training, Bruce isn’t expecting his captain to feature in the fixture this weekend, or on January 1st, with it more realistic that his return will come in the FA Cup against Peterborough United in early 2018.
Bruce said: “I think he’s probably geared for the FA Cup tie rather than the festive period if I’m being honest.”
Terry will be returning to an Aston Villa side who have endured a difficult spell in their captain’s absence, with the Villans sliding out of the top-six over recent weeks, following a run of indifferent results in the Championship.
Bruce’s side find themselves on a five-match winless streak, which they will be looking to end this Saturday when they travel to the Riverside Stadium to face play-off rivals, Middlesbrough.
There might be temptation to rush Terry back into action due to Villa’s slump in form, but Bruce seems to be taking the sensible option by taking his time with the 37-year-old’s return.
A lot of football still has to be played, and Bruce will need Terry fully fit during the second-half of the season.
An FA Cup return should ease Terry back into first-team action.
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