The latest on Alan Judge, Lewis Macleod, and Josh McEachran
There are eight games of the 2016/17 Sky Bet Championship season remaining and Brentford will go in to the final weeks of the season with most of their squad available. The Bees are currently without just three players – Alan Judge, Lewis Macleod and Josh McEachran – as they prepare for the final matches of the campaign. Neil Greig, Brentford FC Head of Medical, has prepared an update for fans on the injured trio.
Alan Judge sustained a double fracture of the lower leg in a match against Ipswich Town in April last year. He underwent surgery on the injury and is working his way back to fitness. Neil explained the Republic of Ireland international has been training with the First Team squad on a non-contact basis for around a month.
Neil added: “Alan has participated in all the team drills, small-sided games and possession drills with some protection. When he takes part in games he plays for both teams so he is not tackled. He is getting lots of football exposure, which will help as he moves on to the next stage in his rehabilitation.
“There is an appointment with his consultant in the next two weeks and at that point there will be a decision as to whether he can move on to full contact training or not. That appointment will be 12 months on from the injury. At the outset, the consultant told us the average recovery time for this injury is 12 months. Some players have come back in nine months while others are not as quick.
“No time scale has been set for when Alan will be back to his norm. He needs to feel good in full training and have no side effects and then, in consultation with the consultant, we will agree an appropriate time for him to return to First Team action.”
Lewis Macleod suffered a significant knee injury in the win over Queens Park Rangers in October. He had surgery in November and Neil said the Scottish midfield player is in a positive frame of mind. The next phase of Lewis’ rehabilitation will take place in America.
Neil said: “Lewis had a slow start to his rehabilitation but that was expected, the consultant was very keen for him to do very little in the first two or three months to allow the knee to heal. From the end of January Lewis’ work load has increased and he is in a positive place.
“The next phase for him is will be in Philadelphia with Bill Knowles, a renowned Athletic Reconditioning Coach. Scott Hogan worked with him when he came back from his two knee injuries. Lewis will spend two weeks there; I will be with him for one week and Nick Stubbings will go for the other. Bill’s work will prepare Lewis for a return to running, all his rehab so far has been gym or pool based. The time we will spend on teaching Lewis to run again will make him a better athlete.
“The staff are not putting time scales on Lewis’ return to action. His rehab is not being led by time pressure, it is being led by target markers. Once he meets one target he moves on to the next one and he has hit all the markers we have in place so far.”
Josh McEachran picked up an ankle injury in Brentford’s win at Sheffield Wednesday last month. Neil said it was initially hoped it would be a short-term injury but Josh is still working his way back to fitness. It is, however, hoped he will play again this season.
Neil explained: “We had a positive scan 48 hours after Josh’s injury but after ten days the injury was not following the path which the scan suggested. We always treat the injury and not the scan and a second scan showed a more significant injury. This has slowed down his progress.
“Josh is running on our anti-gravity treadmill at reduced body weight and in the next ten days we want to get him running outside. Once he can do that we can introduce more complex movements. This is obviously very important with an ankle injury. We hope Josh will recover fully before the end of the season but it won’t be in the next week or two.”