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Last Updated: Monday, 25 October, 2004, 09:41 GMT 10:41 UK
Villa rocked by Vassell injury
Aston Villa striker Darius Vassell
Aston Villa have revealed striker Darius Vassell has suffered a broken ankle and will be out of action for an "extended period".

The 24-year-old sustained the injury after a challenge by Pape Bouba Diop in their 2-0 win over Fulham on Saturday.

A Villa spokesman said: "Vassell has a fracture of his ankle. He went to hospital for an X-ray which revealed the extent of the damage.

"Vassell is looking at an extended period of absence."

Vassell's absence means that Villa boss David O'Leary has only two fit senior strikers - Juan Pablo Angel and on-loan Chelsea player Carlton Cole.

And Cole could be recalled by Chelsea during the January transfer window - which would almost certainly lead to O'Leary moving into the market himself.

He could reactivate his interest in Southampton's James Beattie, whom he tried unsuccessfully to sign in August.

Another option may be to recall Stefan Moore from a loan spell at Millwall.

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