Jack Grealish has told the Duke of Cambridge that he hopes to be back in action for Aston Villa within 10 days.

The Villa captain has been sidelined with a shin injury since the middle of February, and Dean Smith’s side have only won three of the 11 matches he has missed.

Villa have been reluctant to put a time-frame on Grealish’s return but, speaking to the Duke on Tuesday, the 25-year-old playmaker said: “I’m hoping a week to 10 days.”

The Duke, a Villa fan, was at the club’s Bodymoor Heath training ground to open its new high performance centre.

Grealish’s previous attempt at a comeback had to be aborted but, speaking ahead of Villa’s victory over Everton on Saturday, Smith said: “Jack’s scan came back positive so we are gradually starting to load him this week. We are a bit tentative with what happened last time.”

Villa’s clash with Manchester United on Sunday is likely to come too soon for Grealish but he could potentially be in contention for next Thursday’s home match against Everton.