Thomas Frank has revealed that Christian Eriksen will not be considered for selection against Crystal Palace this weekend, with a behind-closed-doors friendly scheduled for Monday to help him to regain match fitness.
Eriksen hasn’t played a competitive game since his cardiac arrest at Euro 2020 in June, so it’s no surprise he has a way to go before he is ready to make his Premier League comeback. Frank has reserved high praise for the 29-year-old, however, saying: “He looks like the quality player we know he is. It’s a joy watching him play football, I must say.”
Eriksen joined Brentford on a free transfer in January, having left Inter Milan at the end of last year when his contract was terminated by mutual consent. Following his cardiac arrest he was fitted with an implanted cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), a device which is prohibited for players competing in Serie A but not in the Premier League.
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His return so soon after such a serious health scare is one of the good news stories of the season. Asked about Eriksen ahead of his side’s meeting with Brentford on Saturday, Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieria said: “This is a happy story. To see him back on the field training and playing games I think is something we can enjoy.
“He loves the game and for him to be back on the field and to do what he loves is something we can all be happy about.”
Speaking to the BBC earlier this week, Eriksen expressed his thanks to all those who intervened to help when he collapsed on the pitch during Denmark’s Euro 2020 fixture against Finland.
“The first thing is to show the gratitude,” he said. “To the people around me, the team-mates, the doctors first on the pitch, the team doctors and paramedics and then at the hospital, to do everything and check everything.
“Then all the messages from people to show support for me and what my family have been through. It has been really lovely to see all the grateful messages.
“I am very lucky and I have told them face-to-face, I am very happy they did what they did otherwise I would not be here.
“For me it was unlucky in a lucky place. I wouldn’t hope anyone to get it, I never thought I would get it myself when it happened but in the place it happened I was lucky with the people around me acting so quickly. I was really grateful the doctors were in that place.
“It was lucky I had all the possibilities around me. They had all the possibilities to get me back as quickly as they did and I am 100 per cent grateful for that.”
Eriksen also suggested that he feels little anxiety at the prospect of returning to competitive action, saying: “I have been cleared to do everything from the doctors, so in that sense it doesn’t really matter what was the reason [for the cardiac arrest].
“Continuously I have been given the green light that everything is OK for the future.
“I don’t really have any scared feelings about it, I don’t feel my ICD so if it gets hit I know it is safe enough.
“I am not scared of the challenges ahead and the bullies in the game, no.”
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