The midfield player had been expected to return in six weeks but after the operation on his troublesome knee on Monday –his 27th birthday - he is now unlikely to be back in action until the start of April. A Villa spokesman said: “Gavin McCann will be out of action for three months, which is longer than was originally thought, but the operation he has had gives him a much better chance of the problem being cleared up entirely.”
McCann has been a key figure for Villa in this stuttering season, despite playing through considerable pain, which has severely curtailed his ability to train. His absence could put considerable pressure on 19-year-old Steven Davis although David O'Leary is known to be on the hunt for a combative central midfielder. After a £2m bid for Amdy Faye fell through, Tubbs is rumoured to be chasing the signature of AS Roma’s Olivier Dacourt.