Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish expects to have a trio of experienced players back available by the start of the New Year as he prepares for a quiet January in the transfer market.
Striker Darren Bent and defender James Collins should have recovered from thigh and Achilles problems respectively in time for Saturday's clash at Chelsea. Veteran forward Emile Heskey will miss the trip to Stamford Bridge with his Achilles injury but McLeish hopes to have him available for the home game with Swansea on Monday.
McLeish will need all his senior players available as he again conceded Villa have to trade carefully and would prefer a sell to buy policy. The Scot said: "January can be a bit of a panicky window but we have got to be sensible and trade carefully."
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