James Chester has returned to Aston Villa training ahead of their trip to promotion rivals Leeds United on Sunday afternoon.

Villa confirmed on their official Twitter account on Thursday afternoon that the 30-year-old is back in action after being on the sidelines since January.

Chester isn’t the only one returning to training for Dean Smith’s side, with centre-back Axel Tuanzebe also available for selection.

But it is the return of Chester that will please the Villa supporters the most because he has been a standout performer for the club in recent seasons.

(Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images)

The Wales international last played for the club during their 2-1 win at home to Ipswich Town at the end of January [transfermarkt].

In his absence, the likes of Tyrone Mings, Tommy Elphick, Tuanzebe and Kortney Hause have played at the heart of the club’s defence.

In January, Mings moved from Premier League side Bournemouth to the second tier of English football on a loan deal [BBC Sport] and he has thrived since day one.

He has arguably been Villa’s best performer since he joined the club and there is no doubt that he will be a key player in his side’s charge for promotion.

As for Chester, given the amount of time he has spent on the sidelines it remains to be seen if he does play a part for Villa as they are heading for the playoffs with two games remaining in the regular season.

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