It's probably time to stop mocking Marc Albrighton for his inability to sleep without a nightlight. Turns out that Albrighton doesn't simply need a dose of vitamin C, or for crazy Americans to turn down the Peter Gabriel music blasting on the boombox outside his window. Instead, the winger needs a visit to the hospital to remove his appendix.
When Albrighton fell ill and had to miss the match against Blackburn Rovers on Sunday, most Villa supporters believed it was just his weak immune system acting up again. Turns out Albrighton was being attacked by his own body, and will now have to miss three weeks to recover from appendicitis. That means elf-boy will miss not only this weekend's match against Arsenal, but also the Carling Cup clash with Birmingham City and the games against Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion.
The injury curse on the Villa has moved from the ridiculous to the absolutely absurd. The team is now without twelve of its first team players, including captain Stiliyan Petrov, vice-captain Nigel Reo-Coker, and midfield ginger Steve Sidwell. The lack of strikers able to hold up the ball and challenge physical players was painfully evident in the Blackburn match, but John Carew's inclusion in the reserves game yesterday suggests he's on his way back to fitness. James Collins, out with a calf injury for last week's match, should be fit to start against the Gunners, providing at least a bit of defensive cover.
Would someone please wrap these players in cotton wool and stick them on a high shelf? Soon we'll be calling the fans in from the stands if the injuries continue.