Houllier holds Petrov hope

Villa boss optimistic skipper will be back inside two months

Petrov: Suffered knee ligament injury

Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier is hopeful that Stiliyan Petrov will not need surgery to resolve his knee problem.

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The skipper suffered a lateral knee ligament injury in the Premier League defeat against Sunderland on Saturday.

But the Frenchman is optimistic the midfielder will be back inside two months although the timescale may alter if Petrov has to undergo an operation.

Houllier said: "The worse case is that Stiliyan will be out for a minimum of two months.

"I think we should know by the end of the week whether he needs an operation or not.

"Let's keep our fingers crossed he doesn't require one as it could then be treated conservatively which will be the best scenario

"The worst scenario, of course, is needing the operation.

"But Stiliyan is a strong lad who has had to go through injuries before and he has always come back."

Injury update

Houllier is also hopeful full-back Luke Young will be able to resume training next week following his recent hamstring injury.

But striker Gabriel Agbonlahor is not yet ready to start his comeback after undergoing groin surgery three weeks ago.

Houllier said: "Luke Young is slowly gradually coming back to normal.

"Next week he should be able to train with the others.

"Regarding Gabby, it will be one or two weeks before he joins the group (for training)."