Aston Villa winger Bertrand Traore has only played 18 minutes of Premier League football this season due to injury.
The Burkina Faso international was introduced as a substitute in the second half in Villa ‘s opening day defeat to Watford at Vicarage Road in what was his only appearance for Villa so far this campaign.
Villa lost the game 3-2 despite a late rally from Dean Smith ‘s side, as Traore ‘s introduction came a minute after John McGinn pulled a goal back for the visitors, and then the winger won a penalty in the closing second of the tie, which Danny Ings duly converted.
After undergoing surgery on his groin after the final game of the 2020/21 season, Traore wasn’t able to get up to full speed before the start of the new season as his pre-season training load was minimal.
So he along with a number of other players who had carried injures throughout the summer, like Matt Targett, or were otherwise slightly “undercooked” before the start of the new campaign, travelled to Anfield to contest a behind-closed-doors friendly against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
Villa lost the game 4-1 as Traore scored in similar fashion to the goal he netted at the Hawthorns last season. However, he sustained a hamstring injury during the friendly and was ruled out for at least four weeks, which meant the winger’s return could be marked in Villa’s away trip to Chelsea this weekend, at the earliest.
Villa boss Dean Smith confirmed that Traore will be out until after the international break and has pencilled in the trip to Stamford Bridge as a possible date for his return.
Traore has also been celebrating his birthday this week and yesterday, former Villa captain Jack Grealish sent the winger a personal message over social media.
Grealish said: “Happy Birthday maestro. What a player and what a guy @bertrandtroare10.”
Traore registered 14 goal contributions in the league last season, with seven of those goals, and the other half assists. He will looking to at least match his impressive return as the 2021/22 Premier League season