Long-term Aston Villa absentee offers hopeful signs in injury battle

Valencia CF v Aston Villa - Pre Season Friendly
Valencia CF v Aston Villa - Pre Season Friendly / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Emiliano Buendia is on the mend. The Aston Villa star, renowned for his creativity on the field, is making positive progress in his rehabilitation from a serious knee injury that put him out of commission for the entire 2023/24 season. The 27-year-old Argentine suffered an ACL tear last August, a devastating blow just as the season was about to begin.

ACL injuries are notoriously difficult for footballers, demanding surgery and a grueling recovery process. Buendia underwent surgery in England and has been working tirelessly with Aston Villa's medical team at Bodymoor Heath to maximise his chances of a complete recovery.

Despite the long road ahead, Buendia's spirit remains strong. He's a regular fixture at Villa's home matches, a familiar face in the locker room, keeping himself connected to the team dynamic. Manager Unai Emery has also been a pillar of support, staying in touch with his sidelined star.

Buendia's determination has recently been rewarded. He's ditched the crutches, walking freely for the first time since his injury. The feeling, he said, was "incredible," almost like taking those first childhood steps. Further encouragement came during a recent medical checkup when his knee moved smoothly, a welcome sign that things are heading in the right direction.

Individual training sessions on the Bodymoor Heath pitch have become a part of Buendia's routine. His workload is carefully managed, but he's back on the grass and the gym sessions are getting more intense as he rebuilds his strength. While an exact timetable for his return to full action remains unclear, every step forward is cause for optimism.

Aston Villa's medical staff, headed by Ricky Shamji, deserve huge credit for Buendia's progress. Their expertise guides him towards a safe and complete recovery.

It's too early to say if Buendia will play this season, but his fighting spirit and the unwavering backing of the club leave room for hope. Whenever he's back in action, the roar from the Villa faithful will be a deafening welcome home for a sorely missed midfield magician.