Photos: Stiliyan Petrov makes an inspiring return for Aston Villa

Stiliyan Petrov - Aston Villa

The midfielder made a return in Aston Villa's pre-season win over Gak 1902.

Stiliyan Petrov - Aston VillaStiliyan Petrov - Aston Villa

Stiliyan Petrov has been pictured back in an Aston Villa shirt for the first time since his return, via the club’s official Twitter account.

The midfielder made a surprise return to the club this summer as Di Matteo allowed him to training with the club this summer.

His return marks an incredible return for the 36-year-old, who was diagnosed with acute leukaemia just four years ago.

Stiliyan Petrov - Aston VillaStiliyan Petrov - Aston Villa

He is aiming to resume his playing career and was handed a major boost on Saturday as he was handed a second half appearance in the friendly win over Gak 1902.

And now he has been pictured back in an Aston Villa shirt for the first time by the club's official Twitter account in a return that is inspiring to say the least.

It now remains to be seen whether Petrov can earn himself a full contract at Aston Villa next season.

His return has certainly proven to be an inspiring one, proving a bright spot in what has been a hard year for the club.

Indeed, that sort of inspiration could be the perfect thing for them to tap into next season as they look to bounce back from the Championship and it will be interesting to see if Di Matteo is thinking the same way.

New manager Roberto Di Matteo during the press conferenceNew manager Roberto Di Matteo during the press conference

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch