Libor Kozak has been ruled out for the rest of the season at Aston Villa after breaking his leg in a training ground accident.
The Czech Republic international -- signed in the summer for seven million pounds -- suffered the injury to his right leg after a collision with defender Ciaran Clark on Thursday morning.
Kozak was rushed to hospital and will undergo surgery to repair the broken leg on Friday. The 24-year-old is now set to miss the remainder of the season -- which is likely to have a significant impact on Villa's plans for the transfer window.
Kozak has scored four goals in nine starts and six substitute appearances for Villa since arriving from Lazio on transfer deadline day in September.
“Kozak has got a bad one,” Lambert said. “He’s got a broken leg. It was just a nothing challenge and it’s a massive blow. He takes knocks and never moans, he gets on with it.
“I thought it was a clash of boots at first. There was no noise from Libor at all. No-one knew what happened and then they saw it. It’s a major blow. It was a tackle with Ciaran, just an innocuous tackle in the morning. There was nothing in it. No-one thought anything of it. “A group that didn’t play at Sunderland trained and the ones that did just came in for a recovery day.”
Questoned over whether Kozak’s injury would affect Villa’s plans in the January transfer window, the manager added: “The January thing is a nightmare window because the prices are inflated. There are one or two I identified before this had happened. It’s a blow.”
Villa issued a statement on the club’s official website on Thursday night confirming Kozak’s injury: “The club can confirm that Libor Kozak suffered a broken leg in training. He will undergo surgery on Friday and, regretfully, he will play no further part this season.”