x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Stiliyan Petrov out for three months

The Villa captain's prognosis is at the higher end of the timescale set last week by Gerard Houllier, the manager, who confirmed he would be sidelined until at least December.

Stiliyan Petrov, the Aston Villa captain, yesterday revealed that he expects to be out injured for around three months.

Petrov's prognosis is at the higher end of the timescale set last week by Gerard Houllier, the manager, who confirmed the midfielder would be sidelined until at least December.

Petrov suffered a partial medial knee ligament tear in last month's 1-0 Premier League defeat at Sunderland.

"I'm bitterly disappointed not to be involved," he said on his club's website.

"I feel OK, but the knee injury I picked up against Sunderland means I will be out for around three months.

"It is the first time I have been out for such a lengthy period since I suffered a broken leg when playing for Celtic 10 years ago.

"But I have every confidence in the boys to go out there and perform to the best of their ability," he added. "The team have been working really hard under the new manager and we have been playing well recently."

There was injury news all round the Premier League yesterday. Joe Cole, the Liverpool midfielder, will be out of action for two weeks following the hamstring injury he had sustained in the 1-0 win over Bolton on Sunday.

That means Cole will miss out on facing Chelsea, his old club, at Anfield this Sunday.

Meanwhile, West Ham United's bid to climb off the foot of the table was dealt a blow with the news Mark Noble, their influential midfielder, has been ruled out after having surgery on Monday night to remove his appendix.

The 23-year-old was taken to hospital after complaining of stomach pains at the Hammers' training ground on Monday.

He underwent an hour-long operation at an Essex hospital and is expected to be back in around a month's time.