Aston Villa left-back Amavi out for the rest of the season

Premier League strugglers Aston Villa will be without young left-back Jordan Amavi for the remainder of the season.

The 21-year-old has been sidelined with the cruciate knee ligament injury he suffered while representing the France U21 team against Northern Ireland on Thursday in Guingamp.

He was taken to hospital before undergoing scans on Friday and Villa have now confirmed that the news is not good for the defender.

A club statement read: "Aston Villa can confirm defender Jordan Amavi has been ruled out for the rest of the 2015-16 Premier League season with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

"Everyone at the club wishes Jordan a speedy recovery and we look forward to seeing him back on a football pitch as soon as possible."

The news is a significant blow to new Villa boss Remi Garde, who is hoping the Premier League's current bottom club can begin to rise up the table under his stewardship.

Amavi was signed from Nice on a five-year deal in the summer for an undisclosed fee believed to be in the region of £9-10m.

An attack-minded full-back, he has been a regular in the Villa starting line-up since his arrival, making 12 appearances and playing the full 90 minutes last weekend, when they ended a string of defeats with a 0-0 draw at home to Manchester City in Garde's first game in charge.

Garde could turn to experienced players such as Kieran Richardson, Joleon Lescott or Ciaran Clark to fill in at left-back, although promising youngster Lewis Kinsella is another option.

The draw with City ended a run of seven straight league defeats for Villa but they remain rooted to the foot of the Premier League standings, five points adrift of safety.