(Reuters) - Aston Villa midfielders Jack Grealish and Carles Gil have returned to training after picking up injuries in preseason but Friday’s Premier League encounter with Manchester United might come too soon, manager Tim Sherwood said.
Ireland Under 21 international Grealish picked up a hamstring injury during the club’s pre-season tour of Portugal while Gil, who played training games against Fulham and Sporting Braga, was forced off against Swindon with an ankle injury.
“Jack and Carles are training. They have had a few training sessions,” Sherwood told the club’s website.
“We don’t want to push them back too early because they’ve had soft tissue injuries. We don’t want them to reoccur.”
Villa opened their campaign with a 1-0 win over Premier League new boys Bournemouth, with recent arrival Rudy Gestede heading home the winner after coming off the bench.
Sherwood expected the eventual return of Grealish and Gil to increase competition for places and allow him to switch systems and formations.
“Once we get everyone fit and fighting for places, it gives us a lot of options to play different ways, which will be crucial,” Sherwood added.
Reporting by Shravanth V in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford