Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish is set to make an earlier-than-expected return to action following his shin problem, according to Sky Sports.

The 23-year-old has not featured for the Villans since suffering the injury during the 2-2 draw against West Bromwich Albion in early December.

Grealish has now missed nine Championship matches as well as the 3-0 FA Cup third round defeat to Swansea City.

Sky Sports claim the midfielder could be back in action by the end of the month, suggesting he could return for Villa’s away match against Stoke City on February 23.

The news is a huge boost for the Midlands club after they had been unable to put a timeframe on Grealish’s return due to the complexity of the injury.

He has since spent time in Dubai and seems to have benefited from warm weather training with the club’s physio.

Villa are currently ninth in the Championship table, four points off a play-off place and Grealish’s return would be welcome as they continue their bid for promotion.

During his time out of the side, they have won only twice, also suffering defeats to Leeds United and Wigan Athletic.

Villa are next in action on Friday when they take on Sheffield United with matches against Brentford and West Brom to come before the game against Stoke.

The first three of those games could come too soon for Grealish to return but he should still be able to play a part in the final stages of the season.

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