The Czech Republic international had been out for 15 months after breaking his leg in a training session and, while he was expected to return earlier this season, complications in the healing process forced him to undergo a second operation in October.
Then-manager Paul Lambert declared the whole ordeal “a nightmare” at the time but the tall front man has since made considerable progress, moving up in recent months from non-contact work to re-joining first-team training.
He has now made another huge step forward in his rehab, getting a 67-minute run-out in the Under-21s' 1-0 win at local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Villa teammates Jack Grealish and Gary Gardner, who is on loan at Nottingham Forest, were more than pleased to see him back, taking to Twitter to send their congratulations.
@Libor_Kozak delighted to see you back playing my bro! Hardwork has payed off! Congrats my friend— Jack Grealish (@JackGrealish1) April 8, 2015
.Kozak’s next aim will be getting back to senior action and, while the chances of seeing him before the end of the season remain slim, a potential return would no doubt provide a huge boost to Villa’s survival hopes.
Arriving from Lazio in September 2013 for €6.5 million, he netted four times in his first 15 games for Villa before suffering the leg break and his strong presence up top would be a welcome addition off the bench during the team’s six remaining top-flight fixtures.