Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has explained why he left Yannick Bolasie out of the squad which lost to Norwich at Carrow Road on Tuesday evening.
Bolasie, who is on loan at Villa Park from Everton, has featured as a substitute in Villa's last seven Championship matches, including Smith's dugout debut against Swansea at the weekend.
But the DR Congo international was left out of the 18-man squad which travelled to East Anglia, with Anwar El Ghazi taking his place on the bench.
"I felt Yannick could do some strength work back at the training ground and get himself ready for Friday," said Smith, quoted by the Birmingham Mail.
It is understood that Bolasie is still not at peak match fitness following a spell on the sidelines through injury, which is the reason why he is yet to start a match for Villa. The 29-year-old has had recurring problems with his knee in recent years, and Villa are monitoring the situation carefully.
While Bolasie will return at Loftus Road on Friday, Villa may not be able to call on Albert Adomah, who limped off on Tuesday after 50 minutes with a knee injury.
"Albert is a doubt with a knee injury after colliding into an opponent," said Smith.
James Chester's header gave Villa a half time lead but a second half brace from Jordan Rhodes won the match for Norwich and left Smith's team 16th in the table.