It was rumoured this week that Aston Villa were interested in signing Hull City's Tom Huddlestone, but following ankle surgery for the English midfielder, a summer move now looks unlikely.
A number of outlets, including the Hull Daily Mail, have reported that Huddlestone has opted for surgery to fix an ankle problem that he had for much of the season. It is believed that the player should recover in time for the first game of Hull's Championship campaign against Huddersfield in early August, but it adds doubt to the possibility of a summer move for the former Spurs man.
Signing Huddlestone at this point would be a huge risk for any team -- Villa included -- as he won't have the pre-season to regain fitness. Even if Tim Sherwood decided to take the risk, there's no guarantee that Huddlestone would pass his medical at this stage. In addition, this season, the Championship season kicks off on the same day as the Premier League, so a move to a Premier League side wouldn't even give Huddlestone any extra time to regain match fitness.
Of course, this doesn't kill the rumour completely dead in the water. Huddlestone has recently bought a house in the Midlands from English pro cricketer Graeme Swann, suggesting that even if he doesn't sign for Villa, Huddlestone is moving to the Midlands.
On the plus side, if an injured Tom Huddlestone does sign for Villa, he will have plenty of time to get to know teammates such as Joe Cole and Libor Kozak, as they will likely be spending their pre-season in the physio room. Every cloud has a silver lining!