Martin O'Neill is in no rush to decide the future of right back Mark Delaney whose contract runs out at the end of the season.
The Welsh international defender has suffered injury after injury and has many set backs in his latest attempt to get fit from a knee injury that eventually required surgery.
O'Neill said: 'I will rule absolutely nothing out at this minute. The reason I wouldn't do is because I'm not in a position to do it - I'd prefer to wait to see what happens. In terms of rehabilitation, I'd like to think even if that goes beyond his contract, we'd be pretty receptive to anything he wants to be doing here. Whether clubs are legally bound is a grey area, but if I was Mark, I wouldn't want that to be a major concern at this minute and rushing to get fit because his contract ends on June 30.'
'Let's wait and see. He's in a position where he knows he falls in that strange area where time-wise; he probably will be fit by the time his contract expires. But I don't think he should overly concern himself on an hour-to-hour basis. In terms of Mark, I've told him not to worry too much about deadlines, and we'll see where we are.'
O'Neill added on the official site: 'I spoke to his father the other day - he's a really nice man. And as a father, he's concerned about his son and his future. I just think it's a bit too early to be making any definitive statements on it. I'm happy with Mark - he's still on crutches which is what you'd expect him to be - but he's pretty pleased with the way things have gone. And he's pleased with the information he had from Dr Steadman and all the positive signs about it.'
'It's the worst thing in the world for a professional player. But he's fighting all that at the moment so it's encouraging and he's really upbeat and being positive, which is good to hear.'
Good luck to Mark, he has been one of our players who has always given 100% when fit, shame to see a good career ruined by so many injuries. He'd have made a great captain if not for his regular absences from the team.
Manager Tim Sherwood has spoken of his disappointment - and shouldered the blame - for today's one nil loss to Stoke City.
All the stats from Aston Villa (0) vs (1) Stoke, Villa Park, 3/10/15 Att: 33,189
Statistics, damn lies and Aston Villa..
Bit of a mix and match today from manager Tim Sherwood's pre Stoke press conference.
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