Aston Villa may be forced into the transfer market this week after being left short on numbers in midfield by the news Nigel Reo-Coker will miss up to three months with an ankle injury picked up in training.
Scans confirmed the 25-year-old has suffered a stress fracture and will miss now miss a crucial stage of Villa's Barclays Premier League campaign and the Carling Cup final against Manchester United next month.
Villa have also recently lost another midfielder Craig Gardner who moved to city rivals Birmingham in a £3million deal.
Villa manager Martin O'Neill described Reo-Coker's absence as a 'major blow' on club website www.avfc.co.uk, and added that the news regarding full-back Stephen Warnock's shin was also far from encouraging.
Warnock was forced to sit out last night's goalless draw against Arsenal at Villa Park, and O'Neill said: 'We have a couple of injury problems - Nigel and Stephen in particular.
'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 to us.
'News on Stephen is not fantastic either, but we'll see.'
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