Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton has revealed that Joe Worrall has suffered a cracked rib that will keep him out of the next few games.
The 24-year-old was missing from the Reds’ line-up for their home clash with Reading yesterday, with Scott McKenna coming back into the side in place of Worrall, who has skippered Forest on a number of occasions this season.
Worrall actually played through the injury against Watford last week as the blow was delivered during the midweek defeat at the City Ground against Luton Town on March 2.
It must have been uncomfortable but he played through it and only after Worrall was sent to the club’s medical staff that the problem showed up.
“He’s got a cracked rib which will keep him out for a few weeks,” Hughton said, per the Nottingham Post.
“We’re hoping that once the international break is finished that he will be available. But it’s something that he felt was not a problem.
“And it’s only when we got it scanned that it showed up.
“Joe actually did it in the Luton game, but he trained afterwards, no problems. He finished the game no problem.
“Sometimes these things can happen. And what you’re relying on is a player indicating that he’s in pain, but that wasn’t the case with Joe.
“He is a tough individual anyway.”
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Forest have two games before the international break that Hughton mentioned, before a two week period where no matches will be played.
That will give Worrall plenty of time to recover as the onus now goes on McKenna and Tobias Figueiredo to become a solid partnership for the next week.
McKenna himself has only just returned from an ankle injury that kept him out for over a month, with the Scottish defender restricted to just 15 Championship appearances so far this season.
But he will now get his chance to shine alongside Figueiredo, who is the most used centre-back for Forest this season with 30 Championship games under his belt.
Make no mistake about it – this is a blow for Forest.
They have two huge games coming up in a short space of time against Norwich City and Brentford, and Hughton’s centre-back partnership had settled in recent months.
McKenna is a good player, but he may find it difficult against the likes of Teemu Pukki and Ivan Toney after so little game-time in the last few months, and whilst Forest aren’t safe from relegation just yet, it’s perhaps good that they’re a little way clear of the drop zone after picking up this blow, along with the injury to Joe Lolley as well.