Brentford midfielder Christian Norgaard will make his long-awaited return from injury on Tuesday by starting the Carabao Cup game against Gillingham, boss Thomas Frank has confirmed.
Norgaard has not played since August because of an Achilles problem, and Frank also says striker Ivan Toney will start the game against League Two Gillingham having missed Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Nottingham Forest through suspension.
“Norgaard will start. It’s very big news and we’re pleased with that,” Frank said.
“Like we do with every player, we’ve been doing our very best to push him to come back as quickly as possible, so I’m looking forward to that.”
Vitaly Janelt is unlikely to play against Gillingham, however, because of a minor muscle issue which forced him off against Forest, but should be available for Saturday’s trip to Manchester City.
But Shandon Baptiste will not be involved for the next two games because of injury.
Kristoffer Ajer also missed the weekend’s game having ruptured the medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his knee in training, but Frank is hopeful that the defender will be back for when the Premier League resumes on December 26 after the World Cup break.
“I hope so. He’s seeing a specialist today (Monday), so we will know more on Thursday,” Frank said. “Let’s hope it will be very quick.”
Frank is also optimistic of having Pontus Jansson and Aaron Hickey, who remain sidelined with hamstring and ankle injuries respectively, back for when club football resumes – which could be a Carabao Cup game on December 20 or 21 if Brentford win their third-round tie against Gillingham.
“They are progressing. We are hopeful they can be available for the first game back, and that’s hopefully a Carabao Cup game,” said Frank.
“At the moment, they are out of my head for the next two games. We need to take it one game a time.
“Hickey is borderline for that game, so let’s see.”