Dalian Atkinson and his Villa manager Ron Atkinson finally conceded that an operation was the only option for the 13 goal marksman who had been troubled by a stomach muscle injury for the previous three months. Ron Atkinson said “In hindsight, Dalian could have gone into the hospital a month ago. There was a possibility he would pull through it though and we hoped to do that. But he broke down again this week and we thought he may as well go in now.”
The former Real Sociedad striker had only started three matches in three months and had failed to complete any of them. Now he was out for at least a month and a half but there was a chance that he could be back for the last six matches of the season if needed and if Aston Villa were still chasing the title. Villa was on 56 points, two ahead of Manchester United having played one match more and five ahead of Norwich who had played two matches less.
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