YORK-BORN Lucy Staniforth is to miss the rest of the Aston Villa's season due to an ankle issue, boss Carla Ward has said.

Staniforth, daughter of former York City striker Gordon Staniforth, grew up in York with her footballing family, playing for the Copmanthorpe boys' team whilst attending the primary school.

Aston Villa boss Ward said the 31-year-old, who has 17 England caps, is set for surgery after suffering the "bizarre" injury in the warm-up prior to last week's League Cup match against Sunderland.

Staniforth has made 14 appearances in all competitions so far this season, having previously suffered two anterior cruciate ligament injuries in her career.

Since then Villa have also lost Staniforth's fellow midfielder Laura Blindkilde Brown, with the youngster joining Manchester City on transfer deadline day.

Ward told a press conference ahead of Saturday's Women's Super League home clash with Bristol City: "Lucy Stan and Laura Brown have been ever-present in our midfield, so it's a massive hole. Lucy has been excellent for us.

"It's an injury that requires intervention and we'll get that done on Wednesday and get her ready for pre-season."