By Paul Brown
Peter Grant thinks the international break has come at the perfect time - to help Villa's walking wounded battle back from their niggling injuries.
Grant revealed that several stars like James Collins [foot/knee], Emile Heskey [achilles] and Alan Hutton [knee, ankle, face] have played through the pain barrier to help the claret and blue effort.
Villa's assistant boss hailed this spirit of sacrifice and spoke of his delight that the lads can now rest up for several days in readiness for the Tottenham game.
He's also happy that the players who picked up niggles against Norwich - Chris Herd [ankle/knee] and Stiliyan Petrov [achilles] - and Jermaine Jenas [achilles] who's only just returned to action - can also recover with this mini break.
Grant is hopeful that the majority of injuries will have cleared up by early next week as the squad prepare for the White Hart Lane encounter.
He said: "We've got to give great credit to some of the boys like James, Emile and Alan.
"There's been a few of them playing with injuries and they've had to take the odd day off training.
"Sometimes, like in James's case, they've had to take two or three days off during the week to get themselves ready for the match.
"But they've been so desperate to play the matches and that's been a big plus for us.
"They're looked after very well by the physios and the doctor here, they're tremendously well treated.
"The boys see that so much work goes into trying to get them out there on Saturday that they are determined to get there themselves.
"Last Saturday we'd only got two players not available out of the whole squad and that's been the first time that's been the case all season.
"Hopefully that can continue because we're going into a right tough period where you don't get a break.
"Hopefully it's happened at the right time and we won't pick up any more injuries.
"We knew there was a break coming up and we knew if we could get them up to this period we'd be quite happy with that.
"Hopefully we can look after them during this period, get a few days training in and get them back out on the training pitch fully next week.
"By Monday next week most of them will be on the training pitch again.
"The lads are going to get a few days off, some of them are in on Friday, but they'll get the weekend off.
"Then hopefully everybody will be back on Monday to get back into it."
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