The absence of Gareth Bale cast a shadow over White Hart Lane on Saturday as Spurs wrapped up their pre-season campaign with a 1-1 draw against Espanyol, but there were plenty of positives to be taken from the game - most notably the return of Kaboul and fellow long-term injury victim Sandro.
Having played brilliantly in the final year of Harry Redknapp's reign, Kaboul slotted straight into Villas-Boas' starting XI last summer, but his 2012-13 campaign was over after just one game due to a knee injury he suffered on the opening day at Newcastle.
The Frenchman battled his way back to full fitness in the spring but, much to his dismay, he tore a thigh muscle in an Under-21 game against Manchester United.
Kaboul sat out Spurs' first five pre-season games, casting doubt on whether he would be fit for the new campaign, but the Frenchman performed well as a second-half substitute against Espanyol and he cannot wait for the season to begin.
"It's been a long time for me since I played last. It's been a year now so I am fully happy to be back with the team," Kaboul said.
Kaboul found life tough on the sidelines. Unlike Bale, who chose not to turn up to cheer on his team-mates, Kaboul was a regular visitor to White Hart Lane last year when he was sidelined.
The former Portsmouth defender always sat on the back row of the bench behind the substitutes, even though he was not required to.
Although being within touching distance of the pitch made him feel like he was still part of the squad, it also proved to be an agonising experience for the player.
"That was very hard," Kaboul said. "I was here to support the team, but it was terrible.