Alan Judge is set to step up his recovery in the next few weeks by playing for Brentford's B team.
The Irishman has been out of action since April 2016 after a horror challenge from Luke Hyam left him with a compound fracture in his leg.
The midfielder needed a further operation at the back end of last season to improve the situation and he has returned to full contact training and Dean Smith revealed he's let the squad know he's on the way back.
The head coach said: “He's tackling people and a few of the players have felt a bit off him.
“He needs to get into game situations but he's concentrating on building up muscle in his calf but, in the next couple of weeks he'll be getting minutes in B team football.”
Being injured is not just a tax on your body, it is also a mental battle, and Smith feels he is winning on both counts.
He added: “I broke my leg myself and you're always thinking about the tackle. Your brain thinks about it but, from seeing him train, I feel he's ready for it.”
Team-mate Ryan Woods is looking forward to seeing him back in the first team squad as well.
He said: “Judgey is a good lad. He's worked tremendously hard, especially after what happened halfway through.
“It's good to have him back out there. It's a big voice for a small man. It'd be nice to have him back around and he'll give the gaffer headaches when he is fully fit.”