Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper has revealed that Joe Worrall is set to be out of action for six weeks due to a rib injury.
The defender was a notable absentee from the Reds’ match-day squad for their clash with arch-rivals Derby County.
Cooper opted to move Ryan Yates into the back-three for this particular fixture as Max Lowe featured at left-back and Jack Colback occupied one of the two central-midfield positions.
Derby went close to opening the scoring at the City Ground as Tom Lawrence fired wide following a neat interchange with Colin Kazim-Richards.
In response to this particular scare, Cooper opted to switch his tactical approach in order to match their opponents.
This alteration worked for the Reds as Lewis Grabban gave them the lead in the 48th minute.
Brennan Johnson then doubled Forest’s advantage as he fired past Derby goalkeeper Ryan Allsop.
Whilst Derby managed to pull a goal back in the closing stages of the fixture, the Reds held on to seal all three points in-front of their supporters.
The Rams’ misery was compounded in stoppage-time as Ravel Morrison was shown a red card for a challenge on Philip Zinckernagel.
Following this clash, Cooper shared an update on Worrall.
Speaking to BBC Nottingham Sport about Worrall, the Forest boss said: “He’s out for six weeks.
“He broke his ribs in the Millwall game. How he’s played with them broken ribs is remarkable, it’s credit to the lad. He will be telling you though, as much as me, we can’t be relying on any individual.”
Quiz: Have Nottingham Forest signed a player from each of these 20 clubs in the last 5 seasons?
🗣️ Cooper (on Joe Worrall): "He's out for six weeks. He broke his ribs in the Millwall game. How he's played with them broken ribs is remarkable, it's credit to the lad. He will be telling you though, as much as me, we can't be relying on any individual". #nffc 2-1 Derby
— BBC Nottingham Sport (@BBCRNS) January 22, 2022
This is unquestionably a blow for Forest as Worrall has produced a host of assured performances in the heart of defence this season.
In order to remain in contention for the play-off places in the coming weeks, the Reds will need Scott McKenna and Steve Cook to fill the void left by Worrall.