Nathan Baker Injury: Updates on Aston Villa Defender's Status and Return

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IJanuary 13, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Wilfried Bony of Swansea City and Nathan Baker of Aston Villa battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Swansea City at Villa Park on December 28, 2013 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Aston Villa defender Nathan Baker was forced off the pitch early in Monday, Jan. 13's, Premier League clash with Arsenal at Villa Park after taking a shot to the face, according to the club's official Twitter account:

Baker remained on the field for a few moments while receiving medical treatment, but was ultimately replaced by Leandro Bacuna in the 21st minute, per Aston Villa FC on Twitter:

The club also announced some positive news on Baker, via Goal.com's Wayne Veysey:

FOX Soccer Trax on Twitter later quoted Villa describing the injury:

Manager Paul Lambert and his squad will hope that Baker's injury isn't too serious and that he'll be able to return to the lineup soon. After all, the 22-year-old has made more than a dozen Premier League appearances for Villa this season, anchoring the Lions' defense, which currently ranks seventh in the league in fewest goals allowed.    

According to WhoScored.com, Baker's average match rating is 6.8 in 2013-14, making him one of the club's most consistent and productive players

Heading into Jan. 13's showdown with the Gunners, Villa were 11th in the Premier League table, 24 points off the championship pace and just five points clear of relegation. 

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