I don't think he wants to recover a virus, I think he's worried he'll get infected again. It's entirely possible. You just have to be careful about what files you recover. To be sure, do a scan after you've recovered the files you need.
I would try seeing what file had the virus, make sure it didn't infect anything else, then recover what evr files you needed b4 the virus. If it's aftr your chances may be higher of infection, so run a virus scan aftr just in case