Thomas Frank has revealed that Kevin Schade will be out “months” as Brentford prepare for their Carabao Cup tie against Arsenal with a depleted squad.
Germany international Schade suffered the problem during the warm-up ahead of Saturday’s 3-1 Premier League defeat by Everton, forcing him out of the squad, and he will need surgery.
Defender Ben Mee is set for “some weeks” out because of a muscle injury and midfielder Mikkel Damsgaard is seeing a knee specialist this week.
Brentford were already without left-back Rico Henry, who is likely to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, while striker Ivan Toney continues his Football Association ban for breaching gambling rules, but he has at least been able to return to training at the club.
Despite being short on numbers and conscious of the need to manage every player’s workload, Frank feels Brentford have enough cover to give a good account of themselves when the Gunners head to the Gtech Community Stadium on Wednesday night.
“He (Schade) will be out for months. It’s a blow, of course it is,” Frank said.
“He’s a player we have big expectations for and he was starting to show some of his fantastic abilities with a goal against Crystal Palace.
“But this is football, this happens. There will be challenges that we have to work our way through and we will do that.”
Frank added in a press conference: “Every team has injuries, and with Ivan Toney’s ban included, we have seven players out.
“I still think I can put a very strong team out there every game, but maybe we can’t change it as much during the game because the depth is not as good.
“I have big belief in our young players, but they need time to settle in.
“I will put as strong as possible team out there tomorrow. It’s very important that we do our best to see how far we can get. We would like to go on a cup run.”
Keane Lewis-Potter came in to replace injured Schade against Everton.
The 22-year-old could be handed another chance to impress for the cup tie on Wednesday night.
“I believe in Keane. He’s a player who came in from the Championship and has been hit by two injuries, so he needs to get into his rhythm,” Frank said.
“There were some good signs on Saturday and of course we want more. He will only get better.”
Brentford could come up against former goalkeeper David Raya, who joined the Gunners on an initial £3million loan deal, with a £27m option to buy next summer.
“David is a fantastic keeper. I’m so pleased he’s played the last three games for Arsenal and done very well,” Frank said.
“For us as a club, and a story, it is fantastic we have developed a player from the Championship to the top of the Premier League.”