There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth on twitter Saturday when, in the 82nd minute, Aly Cissokho was taken out for Nathan Baker. Cissokho had injured himself minutes before, and it meant that one of the best players on the day was coming off for someone most Villa fans would be happy to not see again any time soon.
Paul Lambert has given us some good news about Cissokho, though. The injury was apparently nothing serious, just a twisted ankle, and we're likely to see the new left back return to action soon. Possibly even in time for this weekend's match against Hull City. Cissokho won't be available, however, for Wednesday's Capital One cup outing against Leyton Orient, so that might be a time for some experimentation.
Part of the problem with Cissokho's injury was that it led to an appearance by Baker. There had been a lot of talk of seeing what Kieran Richardson could do at left back before the season began, but he had already been subbed off for Darren Bent a few minutes earlier. Had that switch not happened, we likely would have seen Richardson slot back and a different player brought on.
But that's hindsight. Wednesday's match provides the perfect low-pressure opportunity to give Richardson some time at left back and see what he can do. If he proves capable, he'll be a good back-up plan if Cissokho isn't quite ready by Saturday. But regardless of what happens, it''s great to hear that one of VIlla's best players from the opening two matches won't be missing too much time.