A few weeks ago, manager Steve Bruce announced, just before the game against Wolves that last seasons top goalscorer Jonathan Kodjia was back in full training with the first team.
The Ivorian striker had a big part to play in the 2016-17 season, scoring 19 Championship goals in 36 appearances, bringing back memories of Christian Benteke from a few years earlier.
On Wednesday, Kodjia stepped up his return by playing in a behind closed door friendly against Peterborough where he was scheduled to play 45 minutes to help improve his match sharpness. The game would have helped both the player and also given the coaching team the information they required on his fitness and how long it would be before he could return.
Kodjia has had his fair share of injuries with problems when he played for Bristol City and in France with Angers. On top of that, he picked up a couple of injuries last season while playing for Villa.
Earlier this season he picked up another injury, initially ruling him for the remainder of the 2017-18 season. Once again it was his ankle that was the problem which appears to have caused him a few reoccurring problems.
These kind of reoccurring problems are the kind that can have an effect on a football players career so it is vital that we don’t rush the big striker back for short-term gain. It will take some time for him to strengthen that injured ankle.
Bruce has stated that it is unlikely that we will see Kodjia again this season but not impossible. Although others have stepped up this season his 19 goals, that I have already touched upon on would be a big miss for any team.
Upon his return, he will face some competition however with the recent loan arrival of Lewis Grabban who has scored 4 in his 7 appearances so far for Villa. Scott Hogan’s performances have also massively improved this season although he has failed to find the net since early February.
Then you throw youngsters Keinan Davis and Rushain Hepburn-Murphy into the mix who will be eager to make a statement in the first team.
Regardless of when he returns, one thing is for sure, it’s an old cliche but he will be like a brand new signing for Villa, especially if he is firing on all cylinders.
What are your thoughts on Kodjia and his reoccurring ankle injuries? Do you think that this will restrict his career at Villa Park? We will have to wait and see this man in action again before we these judgements.