Aston Villa have suffered yet another major blow in a difficult season. Darren Bent's ankle injury is just as bad as initially feared, and the club is now expecting their striker to miss the rest of the season. Bent was playing in Villa's 0-0 draw against Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium last weekend when challenged for a loose ball and landed awkwardly. It looked terrible, and specialists have now confirmed that he has ruptured ligaments in his ankle and will miss up to twelve weeks, taking him out of Villa's campaign to avoid relegation. He joins centre back Richard Dunne on the sidelines.
Whether or not Alex McLeish will notice that he's missing his main centre forward is an open question, since Villa aren't really doing the attacking thing this year. It's possible that the team uses this injury as an excuse to try out new formations and personnel, with the possible benefit of making them decent at football and/or watchable, but the smart money is on Emile Heskey replacing Bent straight up. Yikes.
The injury will presumably see Bent miss out on England duty at the 2012 European Championships as well, which could well open the door for a host of talented youngsters to take his spot. Bent was expected to be England's main centre forward at the tournament, and now the likes of Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge will fancy their chances at featuring this summer.
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