Brentford have been rocked by news that star left-back Rico Henry is set to be out for up to two months, in a further blow to the Bees’ automatic promotion hopes.
The 23-year-old, widely regarded as the best full-back outside of the Premier League, suffered a torn hamstring in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Coventry and joins a mounting injury list that includes key players Pontus Jansson, Ivan Toney and Christian Norgaard.
The Bees, who previously enjoyed a 21-match unbeaten run, remain in second spot on the Championship table, but have lost their last three matches to slip seven points behind leaders Norwich and lead third-placed Watford only on goal difference, with Swansea a point behind in fourth.
Brentford boss Thomas Frank confirmed the news about Henry on Tuesday, ahead of Wednesday’s home clash with Sheffield Wednesday, but said the ankle injury sustained by Toney against QPR last week was not as bad as first feared.
However, he also revealed that forwards Emiliano Marcondes and Marcus Forss are both out of the Wednesday game, with England Under-21 midfielder Josh Dasilva also struggling with a hip injury and likely to be on the bench again.
Forss sustained concussion in the loss to the Sky Blues, with Marcondes still sidelined with a back problem since early January.
Frank said he hopes to have inspirational skipper Jansson back back by mid-March after he underwent ankle surgery, but admitted the loss of Henry is a huge blow and will require him to rethink he options with no other natural left-back at the club.
“There are various solutions, Mads Bech as he did on Saturday could play there, Mads Roerslev is a natural full-back and could play there and we could also play Tariqe Fosu there, as we have done on the right,” he said.
“We could even change formation. The only thing I would say that there is a short-term thinking to get some points on the board tomorrow and then the long-term with Rico out and working out what is the best solution.
“We hope to have Pontus back at around the time of the international break. Emiliano is close, but won’t be in the squad tomorrow.
“Christian is very close but not in the squad, Ivan not as bad as we thought but won’t play on Wednesday.
“Josh Dasilva won’t start tomorrow and needs a rest which is why I haven’t started him for a couple of games.”