Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert insists injured midfielder Charles N'Zogbia still has a future at the club.
The French winger is yet to feature this campaign after rupturing his Achilles tendon while out jogging in the off-season.
N'Zogbia has not been given a squad number for this season, but Lambert argued that there was nothing to be read into that.
"No, you're looking into something that's not there," he said.
"The lad's hurt his Achilles and we've got to get him back fit. He's doing really well.
"You would think he would play before the end of the season, yes, but it's not nice, that injury. I think his Achilles heel just went and once you get that it's a major injury."
N'Zogbia is contracted at the club until the end of the 2015-16 season, and Lambert believes that Villa could benefit from his creative flair.
"When you have those sorts of players coming at you, you know you can score," he said.
"(But) sometimes you're better off having a straight break rather than that injury because it's a nightmare.
"He's doing well. He's just started back with the fitness lads, doing little bits, but his match fitness is not there.
"He's not really done any training or anything. He's just getting the fitness levels up a little bit."comments