The 29-year-old, who played for the Billy Goats between 2005 and 2008, embarks on a new challenge after an injury-hit spell with the Wolves that restricted him to just 28 appearances in the last two and a half years.
"Happy to be home"
“We’re pleased to have found a solution which suits everybody,” said Wolfsburg sporting director Klaus Allofs. "Cologne is Patrick's home, which is why he has chosen this transfer. We wish him all the best for his future.”
Helmes himself was delighted with the switch. "I'm really happy to be home again. It's a new beginning for me. I wanted to come back and help the club, which is in a phase right now where I believe I will fit into the team well."
Helmes found the net 13 times for the Lower Saxon club and was close to earning a call-up to the Germany squad prior to EURO 2012 before the latest in a string of serious injuries sidelined him.
He has underlined his goalscoring ability with a total of 45 goals in 98 Bundesliga appearances spread between his original spell at Wolfsburg, Bayer 04 Leverkusen and his original spell at Köln.