Aston Villa forward Jonathan Kodjia makes return in friendly

Aston Villa forward Jonathan Kodjia steps up his recovery from an ankle injury by featuring in a behind-closed-doors friendly.

Aston Villa have received a boost after Jonathan Kodjia made an appearance in a behind-closed-doors friendly.

Kodjia's season has been disrupted by injury, with the 28-year-old only making a total of nine outings for the West Midlands outfit during the current campaign.

The latest setback - a serious ankle injury - has kept the Ivorian on the sidelines since October but it appears that the player has made a significant step towards making a return to the first team.

Kodjia was able to come through 45 minutes of action in a friendly which took place at the club's training ground, although the forward is still some way from being considered for a place in Steve Bruce's squad.

Since Villa paid £11m for his services in August 2016, Kodjia has scored 20 goals in 44 appearances for the Championship side.

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Aston Villa manager Steve 'Cheggars' Bruce gestures on the touchline during his side's Championship clash with Birmingham City on October 30, 2016
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