Gareth Barry will regain the captaincy of Aston Villa in the absence of Martin Laursen after the Danish defender was ruled out for two months.
Barry was appointed skipper of Villa by Martin O'Neill in the summer of 2006, but lost the armband when it appeared he was set to join Liverpool in the close season.
O'Neill confirmed: "Gareth Barry will be the captain in Martin's absence and there is no problem with that whatsoever. He has done it before and he has had an exceptionally good season."
He added: "To lose Martin is a real bad blow for us and a real big blow for him.
"He missed a couple of games before coming back for the West Brom match, when he felt pretty good.
"We felt that, with a bit of man-management, we could tide things over until the summer in terms of avoiding surgery, but he has had a reaction.
"He has needed an operation and we are now looking at eight weeks on the sidelines, which is a long, long time.
"He has been brilliant with us, terrific for the last couple of years since coming back from a serious injury.
"It is a major loss but it's something we will have to deal with."
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