Kevin Phillips is over the moon Aston Villa goalkeeper Tom Heaton has completed his first 90 minutes since his comeback from injury.
The former Claret and Blue, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed the news is a “huge boost” for both club and player especially after Ross Barkley limped off against Brighton last weekend.
Heaton has not featured for Villa’s first team since New Year’s Day after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a 2-1 victory over his previous club Burnley at Turf Moor.
First 90mins back 🎉 pic.twitter.com/3oWi8E9qys
— Tom Heaton (@TomHeatonGK) November 23, 2020
However, the England goalkeeper has made two appearances for the club’s Under-23 side this month and played the entirety of Monday night’s 2-0 win over Stoke City.
His former teammate Paul Robinson revealed earlier this month that Heaton had all of the credentials to bounce back from a “really hard injury”.
When asked by Football Insider for his thoughts on Heaton’s recovery, Robinson said:
“It is fantastic news for the player.
“It has been testing times in lockdown and being injured would have made it even harder. The saving grace for the players in lockdown, since the season has started, is at least they have been able to train day in and day out and have the banter.
“Tom was not able to do that early on but now he is back in among it and back playing which is massive.
“For Dean Smith, to have your number one goalkeeper back is a huge boost.
“You suffer a blow in Barkley getting injured but Heaton cam throw unscathed which is very positive news for him and the club.”
In other Aston Villa news, Alex McLeish reacts to critical injury update from Express & Star.