Following a run of seven games in 22 days, there was a weekend off for the majority of the Brentford squad ahead of the next busy run of fixtures in the Sky Bet Championship. The Bees are currently seventh in the second tier, just a point outside the Play-Offs, a quarter of the way through the campaign.
Those first 12 league games have been played without a trio of Brentford players, Josh Dasilva, Rico Henry, and Emiliano Marcondes, all of whom are yet to feature this campaign. Ahead of the next block of fixtures, which starts on Saturday against Bristol City, Neil Greig, Head of Medical, gave an update on the health of the Brentford squad.
Rico Henry suffered a serious knee-injury during a Sky Bet Championship game against Middlesbrough in September 2017. The England Youth international underwent surgery late last year which preceded a period of rehabilitation. Rico returned to outdoor training in the summer and is now in position to step up his progress.
“Rico Henry returned to full contact training today, Monday 15 October, ahead of returning to action for Brentford B before the end of the month,” Neil revealed. “After such a serious injury, there is no time-frame on when he will be ready for first-team action but there is positive news on him.
“Throughout his recovery period Rico has been working not only physically, but also tactically, technically and psychologically. This work has provided him with a platform to return to the squad as both a physically well-conditioned athlete and a well-rounded individual.”
After an impressive pre-season campaign, which included his first goal in red and white, Emiliano Marcondes has now not featured since picking up a foot injury against Watford at the end of July.
Speaking about Emiliano, Neil said: “Emiliano Marcondes has an on-going foot issue which has presented some challenges and has taken some careful management. He is working hard on the grass with the medical team, but he is not ready to return to training yet.”
There was more positive news on Josh Dasilva earlier this month as he played his first 45 minutes for the club in a B Team victory over QPR at Jersey Road. The former Arsenal midfielder, who turns 20 next week, arrived in August and should be in contention for a first-team role in the near future.
“Josh Dasilva is going to play some more B Team games later this month and it is hoped that he will be ready for the start of November”, said Neil.
As well as Rico, Emiliano, and Josh, young striker Marcus Forss has also been absent in recent weeks due to a back injury. It was a memorable start to the season for the young striker as he netted his first professional goal and made his first Sky Bet Championship appearance within the space of four days.
On the 19-year-old, Neil said: “Marcus Forss has missed the past seven games due to a back injury. He has been working hard on his rehabilitation in the gym in recent weeks. He will be back working on the grass shortly ahead of a return to First-Team training before the end of the year”
A record 13 Brentford players were called-up for international duty around the globe this week although three of that number, Chris Mepham, Ellery Balcombe, and Mads Bech Sorensen, were forced to withdraw from selection. Chris was due to face Spain and Republic of Ireland with Wales while Ellery and Mads were looking to add to their caps at youth level for England and Denmark respectively.
Updating supporters on their progress on that trio, Neil said: “Chris Mepham was withdrawn from the Wales squad for their game against the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday after picking up a knock in training last Wednesday. It was hoped that he would recover in time to feature in Dublin tomorrow night, but he has now returned to Jersey Road. Chris is working hard to be fit in time for our Sky Bet Championship fixture against Bristol City this weekend.”
“Ellery Balcombe meanwhile sustained a knee injury whilst training with England’s Under-20s. The good news is that the injury will not need surgery and the recovery schedule should therefore be measured in weeks, rather than months.”
“Mads Bech Sorensen is also currently working with the medical team. He has had an ongoing issue with his knee which we’ve been managing and, given that he was still not fully fit, we decided that he would remain with us during the international week in order to put him in the best place for the remainder of the season.”