Fulham defender Terence Kongolo will step up his recovery from a knee injury by playing with the club’s under-23 team before returning to first-team action, according to Marco Silva.
The Dutchman joined the Cottagers last October from Huddersfield Town but spent most of the campaign on the sidelines, making just one appearance in the Premier League against Wolves in April after recovering from a foot issue.
Kongolo would suffer another setback following that though as a knee injury suffered when colliding with Adama Traore would rule him out for at least three months, reports stated at the time.
It’s been over five months now since Kongolo last kicked a football in anger, but the 27-year-old is now ready to get back on the pitch.
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It won’t be for the senior squad straight away though, as Silva has devised a plan to make sure that Kongolo’s fitness is up to scratch in preparation for Championship football.
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“It will take more time to be in best physical condition,” Silva said of Kongolo, per The Athletic.
“We have good competition in that position. He will start to play some games with the under-23’s, to see how he will react.
“He’s working with the team, he’s working hard. He’s a quality player.
“It’s about confidence, being in a better shape, and best physical condition. It was a tough injury to come back from. He needs time and games and minutes on the pitch to boost his confidence.”
Fulham have a very good amount of depth at centre-back when all their players are fully fit, with no fewer than five top-class options to pick from.
Michael Hector has returned recently and now Kongolo will be a welcomed addition back into the fold when he is ready.
The Dutchman may need a few matches with the under-23’s to get up to speed after such a long time out of action, but he has Premier League class on his day like he showed with Huddersfield.
It has been a struggle for Kongolo after struggling with many injuries recently, but a fully-fit version gives Silva a real selection headache at the back.