Dean Smith is delighted to see Alan Judge take a big step towards a first team return at Brentford but he will not be rushing the Irishman.
The forward kicked a ball in anger for the first time in over 600 days when he returned with the club's B team against Barnet U23s on Tuesday, marking it with a goal from the penalty spot.
And he will feature for the B team against their Wolves counterparts next week as he builds up fitness but Smith will be taking his recovery on a game by game basis. Judge is actually ahead of where the club saw him to be as he wasn't even slated to feature against the north London club.
He said: “I'm really pleased. Myself, Richard and Chris Haslam. He had his fan club there. It's great to see.
“He got a penalty as well to get a scoring start. He's been working with us for a while and that was the next step of his progress, getting 45 minutes for the B team and he can step that up against Wolves next week.
He added: “We'll take it on a game by game basis and his body will tell him how quickly or how slowly to go.
“We'll be guided by him and the medical staff and the performance staff as well to see how we go.
“We looked at him in training and felt he was ready. Originally, Barnet wasn't pencilled in for him but we thought let him go and we're really pleased with what we saw.”
Brentford fans want to know when they will see him in the first team but Smith will not be keen to rush him and will take things carefully, much like the club did with Scott Hogan.
He said: “It's been a unique injury. If you speak to Judgey, he'll believe he's ready for Hull on Saturday.
“We have to be careful with how we manage it and manage him and we've kept him involved in the discussions. We've been really pleased with his progress and he'll be like a good signing.
“The next few weeks, we've got no midweek games. He's got a full week's training with us and he'll be getting close to it.
“We're getting on top of players who aren't starting games and we get their training numbers up so they're ready to play and Alan will be one of them.”
Judge admitted that he would have to adjust to the style of play Brentford have now, with his number 10 role no longer being used. Smith, though, believes that will come easily for a player of his quality.
The head coach added: “He's a top player and top players adjust and he has been doing work on how we play.
“He's been placed in the attacking midfielder position and the wide area as well. He wants to play football so he'll be disciplined when he comes back.”
Judge's impending return, with Lewis Macleod making his comeback last weekend against Fulham and Emiliano Marcondes' impending arrival, will give Smith some major headaches as to how he fills his midfield.
“It certainly does and it's something we've wanted and it will give us a threat. It'll give me some selection headaches which is what I want but it gives us a lot of depth as well.
“You're looking over your shoulder and you know you can change a match. It's good to have options available.”