Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has given a positive update on the fitness of long-term absentee Libor Kozak to the Birmingham Mail, as the striker continues his rehabilitation from a broken leg.
The 25-year-old Czech Republic international was injured during a training session last January, but had looked on course to make his comeback in October until suffering a significant setback.
Complications forced him to have the leg re-pinned, putting his return date back several months, but Lambert has now revealed that things are back on track.
“His leg break has been an absolute disaster, it’s been a nightmare,” he said. “He is doing really well, though.
“His rehab has gone really well and he’s still got a wee bit of the way to go but he is getting there. He is running.
“We need to sit and discuss [moving on to ball work] but for the horrific break it was, he is doing well.”
Lambert isn’t sure, however, whether Kozak will make an appearance on the pitch this season, adding: “I don’t know. A lot will depend on his healing.
“We have to wait and be guided by him and the medical people on how he is doing.”
Arriving from Lazio in September 2013 for a reported €6.5 million fee, Kozak netted four times in 15 appearances during his first few months at Villa, looking like a solid Premier League target man before being sidelined.
With Lambert’s side scoring just 11 goals in 22 top-flight games this season, having the imposing front man back at the same stage in the near future would be a huge boost to their survival hopes, but it looks like there are no guarantees of that at this point.