Nottingham Forest head coach Sabri Lamouchi has provided an injury update on those players currently sidelined – and it is a case of mixed fortunes.
Joao Carvalho took to the grass this week for the first time since suffering an ankle injury in the club’s first pre-season friendly of the summer, against Alfreton Town in June.
He has yet to return to full training with the rest of the squad and remains a little way off being back in first-team contention, but Lamouchi hopes he will continue to make good progress.
“For me, it is a new player because I haven’t had one training session with him yet,” he said of Carvalho.
“He played very well last season and is an important player for the squad.
“Maybe on Monday we start step by step, and as soon as possible he will be back with the team.
“I hope he is close, because we need all players but especially the players who can give the maximum and with a lot of quality, like Joao.”
Midfielder Ryan Yates is also recovering well, following a minor operation to cure a long-standing knee problem which had flared up again when he reported back for pre-season training.
Michael Hefele is close to linking up with the squad again, having returned to his native Germany for treatment on the Achilles injury which has ruled him out of action since January.
But fellow defender Yohan Benalouane (back) and Tendayi Darikwa (ACL) are facing longer spells on the sidelines.
“Darikwa is having an operation, so we will be missing him for about six months,” said Lamouchi.
“Hefele is in Germany for some treatment and will probably come back at the end of next week.
“Benalouane had an operation on his back last week, so he will be with us after a few months. I hope very soon.
“It is a big loss for us as a player, as a man, as a leader.
“Yates is doing very well, so maybe he will be the first one to come back with the group. Hopefully very soon.
“He is very focused and very determined.
“It is lucky for me and lucky for him, especially, because he is a good player and an important player for the squad.
“He is young but the squad needs players like him.”
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