By Graham Hill
JED Steer’s role will be vital in the run in to the end of the season now after it was revealed that Villa keeper Lovre Kalinic has had surgery on a knee injury.
Croatian news source Novo claim that Villa wanted to postpone the operation until the end of the season – but Kalinic wanted to go under the knife immediately.
Kalinic is expected to be out for up to a month which means he could be back in action for the play-offs, assuming Villa get there.
Steer’s form in goal means the situation is not as bad as it could have been.
But Villa boss Dean Smith is still left with two senior keepers on the sidelines after Orjan Nyland was ruled out with an Achilles problem.
Kalinic reportedly had an operation on his knee in London and it was successful.
He picked up the injury on international duty after a game against Azerbaijan.
But Kalinic, 29, has been been below par since moving to Villa from Gent in a £6million move last January.
He conceded 12 goals in his seven Championship appearances – but Steer has stepped in to shore up things at the back as part of an improved Villa defence.
Steer has impressed Smith so much that he earned a one-year contract extension.