Villa skipper Ron Vlaar today backed Jores Okore to fight back from his injury nightmare.
Denmark international Okore is out for the season after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury in just his fourth game.
Vlaar suffered his own injury problems and was sidelined for almost two years with knee troubles at Feyenoord.
And the defender, who is with the Holland squad for their World Cup qualifier with Hungary tonight, said Okore will return stronger.
He said: “Jores is so unlucky with his injury. He’s going to come back very strong. A lot of it is mentally, and that’s where we have to help him, because sometimes it will be difficult.
“I think he did really great in the games he played. I know what he’s going through and I hope that if we can have good results it will help him feel better.
“We try to help him as much as we can. He has to go on. It’s going to be a long way but he’s going to come back stronger.
“I will talk to him, I talked to Gary Gardner last year. It’s little things, you have to try to give yourself a good feeling.
“Make yourself happy even if it’s hard, because it’s a way of helping yourself recover on your own.
“You do have to do things on your own but we’ll try to help him as much as we can.”
Vlaar was out for a year after he tore his cruciate at Feyenoord in 2007 and he then developed a bacterial infection and suffered medial collateral ligament injury which sidelined for another 12 months.
And the 28-year-old knows what Okore is going through after his own time recovering.
He said: “What I remember from the first time I played again - my first official game was after 22 months or something like that - was the feeling when you got a kick on your ankle or something, the feeling of playing again.
“It was ‘oh, yes, I’ve played again, I’ve got a bruise on my knee there or something – that feels really great’.
“You know you’ve been playing again and that feeling makes you so happy. You’ve worked so hard and it’s such a long time to comeback.”