Aston Villa have been dealt a big injury blow with fears that midfielder Marvelous Nakamba could miss the rest of the season.
The Athletic understands a decision will be made within the next 48 hours as to whether or not Nakamba will require surgery after suffering a knee injury in the 1-0 defeat to Liverpool at the weekend.
With Nakamba possibly ruled out for the remainder of the 2021-22 campaign, Villa will consider signing another midfielder in the January transfer window.
Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse was targeted in the summer but he has since signed a new contract at St Mary’s so alternative options will be considered.
Sporting director Johan Lange already has a list of players in mind for each position that Villa are looking at strengthening.
Nakamba, 27, has become a key figure in Steven Gerrard’s midfield and has been the club’s most improved player since the new manager’s arrival last month.
The Zimbabwe international was substituted during Villa’s defeat to Liverpool on Saturday with what was understood to be a groin problem. However, Gerrard confirmed in his press conference on Monday that Nakamba’s injury is worse than first thought.
Gerrard said: “We sent him for an MRI scan and the news that has come back is not good.
“The idea is to send him to a specialist on Tuesday and we’ll then know more about the damage and what we’ll need to do going forward.”
Zimbabwe have confirmed that Nakamba will not be available for the Africa Cup of Nations in January.
Nakamba’s injury is not the only blow for Gerrard before the match against Norwich. Two Villa players have tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the game at Carrow Road.
Villa are scheduled to take on Norwich, led by their former manager Dean Smith, on Tuesday evening.