Fresh surgery sees Judge's return delayed until next term
Ireland winger Alan Judge is likely to miss the start of next season as he recovers from additional surgery to aid his recovery from the double leg break he suffered a year ago this week.
The Brentford star suffered a double fracture in a Championship game with Ipswich that cost him a chance to go to the European Championships and the likelihood of a summer move.
He was on course to return to action this month after signing a new contract at the club but he was feeling some pain in training and a scan revealed that further treatment is necessary to stimulate the final stages of bone healing.
Brentford boss Dean Smith is reluctant to put a timescale on the key man's recovery but it's understood that - at this remove - September might be the best-case scenario for a full comeback. However, it's possible that it will take longer for the 28-year-old to get back on the pitch with his employers conscious of the risks of rushing him into action.
implications It's believed that Judge could have tried to play some part in the final weeks of the Championship campaign but medics felt it would be unwise and might have damaging longer term implications. He had returned to non-contract training before the fresh setback.
"The ground was getting harder," said Smith yesterday, "He was feeling things that perhaps he shouldn't have and only felt 90pc. He went to see a specialist and the advice was to go and have the operation.
"As disappointing as it is, it was something that we half expected anyway due to the delays with his return to the team. We want him to return at 100pc and so does he."
Judge won his first Ireland cap last March and had put himself in contention for involvement in France after an outstanding Championship run of form which led to him being shortlisted for player of the season. A horror challenge from Ipswich's Luke Hyam halted those ambitions.