Villa's Barkley out for up to three weeks with hamstring injury

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(Reuters) - Aston Villa midfielder Ross Barkley will be out of action for two to three weeks with a hamstring injury, manager Dean Smith said on Saturday.

Barkley, who is on loan from Chelsea, picked up the injury in the opening minutes of Villa's 2-1 Premier League defeat by Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend.

The 26-year-old, who has two goals and an assist in eight games this season, will miss Monday's trip to West Ham United.

"Ross obviously got a hamstring injury against Brighton so he's going to be out for two, three weeks," Smith said. "Nothing more than that. It's not as bad as what we first feared.

"He's done a week already. We're not going to rush him, and we're going to make sure he's fully fit because we don't want to lose him again."

Villa are seventh in the league with 15 points from eight games, while West Ham are eighth with 14 points after nine matches.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)