Tommy Elphick hasn’t had a great deal of good fortune during his career at Villa Park.
Despite being unveiled as our first signing and new club captain following relegation, it wasn’t long before the Championship winner with Bournemouth found himself out on the periphery.
As Villa faltered under Di Matteo, so did Elphick. Unfancied by Bruce, Elphick was unceremoniously sent out on loan this season, until recalled from Hull as Dean Smith scrambled for defensive cover.
Elphick impressed whilst with The Tigers and has broadly continued his good form at Villa Park, striking up a promising partnership with loanee Tyrone Mings at centre-half. This has been particularly beneficial at a time where we’ve been without the injured Axel Tuanzebe and James Chester.
Things went pear shaped in the most innocuous of circumstances during the 4-0 mauling of Derby.
Stretching for a cross-field ball, Elphick appeared to lose his footing and fell awkwardly.
This lead to the 31 year old being stretchered from the pitch to applause and chants from all corners of the ground:
Chants of ‘One Tommy Elphick’ as he’s stretchered off for #AVFC pic.twitter.com/O6iSYeamoX
— Villa Underground (@avfc_vilr) March 2, 2019
According to reports in the local press this evening, Elphick will be sidelined with ligament damage in his foot for at least the next six weeks.
This see’s Villa once again light on defensive cover, with the improving Kourtney Hause anticipated to switch to centre half alongside Mings.
However, with Villa facing a possibly season defining derby encounter with Blues, Smith may yet consider the services of Mile Jedinak a necessary evil.
For Elphick however, it’s a hammer blow.
He was steadily growing back into the role he should have made his own two seasons ago, only now to see it brought to a halt through injury. With Elphick also in the final year of his current deal and Villa’s financial outlook still unclear, any extension to his current contract must now be at risk.