The 14 times-capped striker, who was axed by previous gaffer Gordon Strachan and overlooked by the caretaker boss for the squad against Holland on Thursday, ended the Midlands side’s unbeaten home Championship record this season in the visitors’ 2-1 triumph.
Adam Reach gave the Owls the perfect start with a goal in 18 SECONDS and Rhodes, on a season-long loan from Middlesbrough, doubled the advantage in the 23rd minute, shortly after John Terry had limped off.
It was the 27-year-old hitman’s second goal in successive league games after failing to net in a barren run since March.
Robert Snodgrass, also snubbed by Mackay, joined Terry on the sidelines five minutes before the interval with a rib injury.
Chris Samba netted the home side’s consolation goal, but the Hillsborough outfit, with ex-Celts Glenn Loovens, Gary Hooper and Ross Wallace in the line-up, held out for the victory that took them to 11th place in the division.
Dejected Villa gaffer Steve Bruce said: “We were rocked by a stunning goal. A wonderful strike from the boy.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been a goal down after 20 seconds before.
“It rocked everybody. We huffed and puffed without ever having that real cutting edge. But it was a big blow losing both John Terry and Robert Snodgrass.
“Chris Samba came on and did well and he scored when we went gung ho and went for it towards the end, but really it was an awful afternoon for us.”
Wednesday coach Carlos Carvalhal added: “Villa found it difficult to create chances, but that was because my players were so fantastic, helped by that early goal.
“We know we can challenge for the play-offs. The quality of our play should ensure we are challenging at the end of the season.”