Dr. Rolf has brought a number of Salemites back from the dead over the last few years. Back in 2018 when Kristen DiMera returned from the dead and was employing Xander Kiriakis as her henchman, they hid in a warehouse with a number of doors with initials of Rolf’s patients on them. One was labeled A.V., likely for Ava.
Ava’s family, and her late father Martino Vitali, were high up in the mob. It’s possible the mob faked Ava’s death for their own reasons.
Ava messes with Joey
It’s possible Joey didn’t suffocate Ava, but her long-lost twin or a lookalike put in place by someone. With Joey, who is in prison for Ava’s death and just mentioned by his parents, we could see Ava’s return as a way to spring him from the slammer and bring the character back to Salem.
Gwen secret past
Recently Gwen was revealed to be the one who drugged Abigail DiMera, but we don’t know her motive. With Gwen and Jake tied to a mob family in Philadelphia, Ava’s return could play into their storyline and past.
With Tripp back in Salem, Ava could appear to him or Steve as a ghost. However, we doubt this is the case. Whoever resurrected her, Ava will definitely be returning to reunite with her son and teasers from head writer Ron Carlivati indicate she won’t be totally evil. Still, she’ll likely make Steve and Kayla’s life problematic.