By Paul Brown
Paul Lambert has confirmed midfielder Stephen Ireland has broken his wrist and will be sidelined for a "few weeks."
Ireland injured himself in the game at Southampton, coming off at half-time in the St Mary's loss.
Lambert was initially concerned the problem could sideline the playmaker for months but the new diagnosis is a great relief to the manager, who has been pleased with Ireland's input since the start of the season.
In fact, he insisted that Ireland's substitution in the Saints match played a part in Villa's second half surrender.
Speaking directly after the Manchester City win, Lambert said: "It's not Stephen's arm. It's his wrist.
"I don't think it's as bad as we thought. Hopefully he will be back in a few weeks time.
"Injuries happen. It's unfortunate for Stephen and it's unfortunate for us.
"But he won't be out for the number of weeks we thought he would be."
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