Brentford manager Thomas Frank has suggested that both Rico Henry and Josh Dasilva might struggle to get back to fitness before the end of the regular Championship season.
The Bees were dealt another major blow to their hopes of finishing inside the automatic promotion places on Tuesday with them being held to a goalless draw by Birmingham City. That meant that Frank’s side were unable to claw back some points on Watford, who were also held to a 1-1 draw by Middlesbrough in the early kick-off on Monday.
Henry has not featured for Brentford since their 2-0 defeat away against Coventry City in February with the left-back having suffered a torn hamstring. The 23-year-old has been a massive loss for Frank’s side and is also reportedly attracting interest from West Ham, Southampton and Manchester City ahead of the summer. While Dasilva has been out of action with a hip problem since the 2-1 win against Stoke City.
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Speaking to West London Sport, Frank admitted that Henry’s injury is not going to be one that can be cleared up within the next few weeks and that it is more of a case of hoping he can come back before the end of the season. While on Dasilva he suggested he should be back sooner than Henry, but is also facing a race against time to make it back before the campaign ends.
He said: “Going forward it’s not the next couple of weeks but a race against time to get him (Henry) ready for 8 May, at the end of the season.
“He is the best left-back in the division and we could have used him, but the players who have stepped in have done a good job.
“With Josh Dasilva it could be earlier but could also be a race against time for him too.”
This is another major blow for the Bees’ hopes of getting their form back on track and trying to put some real pressure on Watford in the remaining matches of the season. Henry has without a doubt been a crucial absentee for Brentford since his injury and they are not the same side without his presence down the left-hand side with him arguably the best left-back in the division.
Losing such a key player to injury was always going to affect their form somewhat, and they have been drawing far too many games since he was ruled out of action. While Dasilva’s presence in the middle of the park has also been a massive miss in the last few weeks, with him having the ability to provide another threat both in terms of scoring and creating chances.
Were Brentford to miss out on automatic promotion, which now looks likely, it would be crucial that both Henry and Dasilva were back fully fit in time for the play-offs. The Bees must therefore not rush the pair back to action and if they know that they can not make the top two within the next few weeks, they should manage their recoveries with the play-offs in mind.