Bouma could return from injury this year
Aston Villa defender Wilfred Bouma is expected to be out for four to six months after successful surgery on his dislocated right ankle.
The 30-year-old Dutchman suffered the horrific-looking injury in Villa's Intertoto Cup second-leg victory against Odense BK on Saturday.
Bouma underwent surgery yesterday, having the joint reset and a plate inserted.
Manager Martin O'Neill told the club's official website: 'The operation went very well and everybody, including Freddie (Bouma), is very optimistic he will make a rapid recovery.
'Freddie's in good spirits. It was a bad injury but with the level of treatment he's had and the post-operative prognosis we've been given, we're all hoping to see him back, perhaps sooner than everyone expected on Saturday night.'