Fitness will be the key for Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn

John McGinn of Aston Villa in action during a training session at Bodymoor Heath training ground on March 12, 2020 in Birmingham, England.

The Scotland international was sidelined for around five months in total after first fracturing his left ankle in December and then suffering a stress fracture in the same leg, just before the Premier League was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic in March.

McGinn was then flung into the thick of Villa’s relegation battle when the season restarted in June having been back training for just a few weeks.

He said: “It was horrible, really. To come back from (that injury), I have read Frank Lampard saying he needed six reserve games, two sub appearances and another game to feel anywhere near himself.

“The first four or five games when I was flung into a relegation battle was tough.

“I still feel I managed to help the team in some way, whether that was playing at 60 or 70 per cent. Thankfully the last two games I felt more like myself and managed to help us over the line.”

McGinn was one of three key Villa players to suffer serious injury during the campaign and the other two, goalkeeper Tom Heaton and striker Wesley, are both likely to miss the start of a new season now less than six weeks away.

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