Be healed. BE HEALED. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
It's not been an especially good day in terms of injury news for Aston Villa; Darren Bent suffered what looked to be a serious ankle injury during Villa's 0-0 draw with Wigan and will undergo a scan on Monday to determine the extent of the damage, and it's also been announced that defender Richard Dunne will miss the remainder of the season with a collarbone injury. It has already been announced that Bent will miss Wednesday's England friendly against the Netherlands, while Dunne's status for the summer's European Championship is now in doubt.
This is all worrying news for Villa; Dunne has been the best component of an incredibly shaky back line, and though Carlos Cuellar has been solid in relief the defense is undoubtedly in better shape with the big Irish international available for selection. With Ciaran Clark also battling injury, Nathan Baker is next in line should one of Cuellar or Collins need to be replaced for whatever reason. Baker is a good prospect, but a lack of Premier League experience makes him a less-than-ideal safety net.
Bent is an even bigger worry, as Villa have found goals incredibly hard to come by. Alex McLeish's bizarre fascination with Emile Heskey also means we're likely to see a whole lot more Ivanhoe if Bent is out for an extended period of time. A recall of Nathan Delfouneso is possible, but it seems a bit more likely Villa will lean on Andreas Weimann for depth at the position. With an already thin striker corps, any additional injuries could leave the attack in an even more precarious position than the defense.
Villa have a cushion between themselves and the relegation zone, but with 12 games still to play that can evaporate very quickly. Losing one of Dunne or Bent for a large portion of those games would be a storm that the team could likely weather. Both? That's a different story. Let's all hope Bent's injury was less severe than it looked; otherwise, we could be in for a very bumpy ride.