While Christian Benteke nears his first-team comeback, fellow Aston Villa striker Libor Kozak has suffered a setback in his bid to return to fitness.
The 25-year-old Czech Republic international suffered a broken leg in training back in January, but had looked on course to make his comeback in the coming weeks alongside Benteke.
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However, manager Paul Lambert has revealed that he has had to undergo another operation due to complications, and could now be out of action until at least the start of 2015.
‘It’s a nightmare,’ he was quoted in the Birmingham Mail.
‘He had an operation on Wednesday. They had to go back into his leg and put a little pin in it.
‘I haven’t spoken to the doctor but it’s going to be a while. It’s a setback for him.
‘I spoke to him about his injury and he felt a bit down which is understandable because he’d worked so hard to get back.
‘He wasn’t too far away from being back. He was running and doing everything. It’s a blow for him and blow for us. It’s just not healed the way we thought.
‘When he came here his goal ratio was very good. He’s just been unfortunate that he’s suffered this setback.’
Signed from Lazio in September 2013 for a reported €6.5 million fee, Kozak scored four goals in 14 Premier League appearances over the first-half of last season, showing signs of growing into a solid top-flight target man before being sidelined.