Aston Villa's Jonathan Kodjia may miss start of new campaign with ankle injury

Aston Villa striker Jonathan Kodjia could miss the start of next season after breaking his ankle.

Kodjia, 27, who has scored 19 Championship goals for Villa this season, was forced off in the second half of Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Blackburn and is likely to require surgery.

Villa confirmed in a statement that Kodjia will now visit a specialist in Europe this week for further tests.

The Ivory Coast international joined Villa in a deal worth up to £15 million from Bristol City last summer and has kept the club away from relegation danger with his goals.

The next highest scorers in the league for Villa this season are Jack Grealish and Rudy Gestede -- who joined Middlesbrough in January -- with just four goals apiece.

Villa have struggled since relegation from the Premier League last season and are 12th in the Championship table, 16 points behind the top six, with one game of the season left.

They replaced Roberto Di Matteo with Steve Bruce in October after Di Matteo won just once in his opening 12 games. Bruce has won 15 and lost 14 of his 35 matches in charge.

Villa end the season at home to Brighton on Sunday with the Seagulls needing a win to clinch the title.