Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is upbeat on the fitness of long-term absentee Libor Kozak, despite the striker's recent setback in his bid to return from a broken leg.
The 25-year-old Czech Republic international was injured on the training ground in January, but had looked on course to make his comeback at some stage last month, until being forced to have the leg re-pinned due to complications.
It’s a nightmare,’ Lambert was quoted in the Birmingham Mail at the time.
‘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.’
However, while not expected to return for a few months, the Scot has now revealed that the imposing front man’s rehabilitation is back on track and doesn’t anticipate further problems.
‘He's doing well at the moment,’ he told the club’s official website. ‘Hopefully he'll start jogging pretty soon and everyone seems to be pretty happy with how he's doing at the moment.’
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Signed from Lazio in September 2013 for a reported €6.5 million fee, Kozak netted four times 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.
Villa could certainly do with him back as soon as possible, having scored only five goals all season, and just once over the past six successive defeats, but it looks like it will still be some time before fans see him in action again.