Please come back in one piece, Alan

13 Nov

Do you laugh or cry? There was mixed news on the medical front yesterday as Brentford gave what is now, sadly, becoming a regular news feature – injury round up. And it seems the prognosis on Marco Djuricin, after he was stretchered of at Blackburn Rovers, is not great. Lewis Macleod meanwhile, yet to trouble the statisticians since signing from Glasgow Rangers in January, is lined up for even more recovery time.

Those were the headlines from a list that has, at the least, shrunk to 7 (seven) players compared to the double figures we’d seen earlier on in the campaign. Further, of that group Josh McEachran is due to play in a friendly against Bournemouth today whilst Jota resumes training with the team next week.

Jota - resumes training with the team net week

Jota – resumes training with the team net week

There were no surprises in regards to Andreas Bjelland and Scott Hogan (both out for the long term with no set return date) but it was the news about Marco Djuricin and Lewis Macleod that was the real disappointment. The Austrian striker is now looking at an eight-week rehabilitation from the ankle ligament injury suffered at Blackburn although, thankfully, not requiring surgery.

As for Lewis Macleod, we can expect his progress to be set back by the best part of a month after coming off early in the development squad game against Reading. Head of medical Neil Greig telling supporters that Lewis, “Will need to be progressively returned to training over the coming three to four weeks in order to account for his previous history.”

Injuries happen. That is part and parcel of football. I’ve just never known so many at one club in such a short space of time. It was a point flagged at the Brentford fans’ forum earlier on the season and labelled nothing more than coincidence. To be fair the casualty list has, mostly, shrunk since then but it is massively frustrating – and that’s the polite word. Especially in the cases of Marco and Lewis.

The injuries have piled up this season

The injuries have piled up this season

Having sold Andre Gray for a vast fee, the team has struggled to replace that sort of killer instinct up top. Djuricin looked like he was shaping up to be the man to do it and then – boom. Out for two months. That said, Lasse Vibe is our second highest scorer after Alan Judge and will now, surely, be the man landed with that starting role after bagging recent goals at Blackburn and Charlton.

Looking at Lewis Macleod, there was much frustration (along with many good wishes) from the Rangers supporters when Mark Warburton signed him up the moment the January transfer window opened. And yet despite all the promise, we are still waiting to see him in first team action.

I can only feel for the player and the club staff. To have such a prodigious talent in the wings, constantly wrapped in cotton wool, must require an incredible amount of patience. I’m desperately keen to see him in on pitch as, I have no doubt, Lewis and all around him are.

After so long out, easing him back in can only be the right thing to do. The Championship has proven an incredibly physical league and the risks of chucking somebody who may not be fully fit into a competitive match seems obvious to me. I have no doubt we’ll get that decision right – I just hope it is this year.

The one real positive was the news that Brentford’s man of the moment, Alan Judge, is fully recovered after missing the games against Hull City and Blackburn Rovers. As such, he has joined up with the Republic of Ireland squad for tonight’s European qualifier against Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Good luck, Alan. And please come back in one piece.

Nick Bruzon  

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