Delaney fears injury might end his Villa career

April 7, 2006

Mark Delaney may have played his last game for Aston Villa amid fears he will need surgery on his damaged knee.

The Welsh international has indicated he sees his future away from Villa after they failed to offer him a long-term contract and instead only took up a 12-month option on his current deal.

Now the 30-year-old is to see a specialist to find out the extent of the knee problem which has sidelined him for several weeks.

Villa manager David O'Leary said: 'Delaney is going back to see the surgeon to investigate his knee.

'If the surgeon feels he want to operate, he'll do that. If that were to be the case, that would be the end of Mark's season without a doubt.'

O'Leary has suffered another injury blow with Patrik Berger suffering a calf injury in training yesterday.

The former Liverpool midfielder has not kicked a ball in anger for the senior side since suffering a knee injury in October and he then injured an Achilles in the warm-up to an FA Cup replay with Manchester City.

O'Leary will also be without skipper Olof Mellberg (hamstring) for Sunday's derby with West Brom while Gareth Barry remains a doubt with his calf problem.

He said: 'Olof has no chance. Gareth has not trained yet. We hope he can do tomorrow but I couldn't say he'll play for certain yet.'

Meanwhile O'Leary has again insisted that Barry is not for sale after speculation linking him with Newcastle and now Tottenham.

He said: 'I wouldn't let Gareth go. I have made it clear he wouldn't be for sale and that still stands.'