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Nigel Reo-Coker sidelined for three months

Aston Villa midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker will be sidelined for up to three months with a stress fracture in his ankle, manager Martin O'Neill confirmed on Thursday.

Reo-Coker sustained the injury in training and Villa are now prepared to be without the player for a prolonged period of time. Reo-Coker has started six Premier League games for the club this season.

Aston Villa have also expressed concern over a shin injury suffered by Stephen Warnock, although they have not announced how long the left back will be missing for as a result of the problem.

"We have a couple of injury problems - Nigel and Stephen in particular," O'Neill told the club's official website. "Nigel will be out for some considerable time. It's turned out to be a stress fracture so he might miss 12 weeks. That's a major blow for us. News on Stephen is not fantastic either but we'll see."

While Reo-Coker has been a fringe member of the Villa squad this season, Warnock has started 17 Premier League games and his absence will be keenly felt. Villa have compensated for his injury by bringing Nicky Shorey back to the club following a loan spell with Nottingham Forest.

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