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Steve Cooper confirms major Nottingham Forest player blow

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Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper has revealed left-back Max Lowe will be out of action for two months after suffering a groin strain against Reading at the weekend, providing this latest update to Nottinghamshire Live.

The 24-year-old was withdrawn in the 31st minute for Gaetan Bong after picking up this injury, although it was currently unclear how severe this blow was for the full-back who has been an ever-present Forest player in their starting lineup since his arrival in August.

Recording one goal and two assists in 12 league games so far, Lowe was an instant hit at the City Ground as he provided an assist for Lewis Grabban for his debut against Cardiff City, seeing a change in manager since with Steve Cooper coming in for Chris Hughton but still managing to adapt well.

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Along with Djed Spence, the duo had established themselves as two of the East Midlands outfit’s most valuable assets as attacking wing-backs, before recently reverting back to a flat back four.

Even with this system change though, the 24-year-old was still an impressive operator in Cooper’s backline and played his part in their comfortable 3-0 home win over Preston North End before the international break – but wasn’t able to impress after then as he was substituted early on at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

Initially being ruled out for at least two games, two months is now the recovery period required to get back to full fitness as he faces the prospect of being out of action until the end of January.

Speaking about this blow to Nottinghamshire Live after last night’s match against Luton Town, the Reds’ boss Cooper said: “He’s going to be out for two months. He’s had a groin strain.

“We knew he had a muscle strain, but you just have your fingers crossed that it’s one of the lower grades. I don’t know exactly what grade it is, but he’s going to be out for two months.

“It’s a blow. But it happens, and we get on with it.”

The Verdict:

This injury setback is both a blow in the short term and the longer term.

In the short term, Jack Colback won’t be able to fill in at left-back in the next match after receiving a red card against the Hatters yesterday evening, leaving Bong as the next obvious choice to come in.

It says a lot about Cooper’s confidence in Bong when a central midfielder is getting in over the 33-year-old – but he now has the chance to shine with the ex-Newcastle man’s suspension and this is one he must take with both hands to prove doubters wrong. There are plenty of those who are sceptical about the Cameroonian.

Jordi Osei-Tutu isn’t expected back for a while either, so this leaves the club with a limited number of options in this position and they will be hoping to have Lowe back sooner than expected.

Looking towards January in the longer term, Forest face the prospect of being without both Spence and the Sheffield United loanee when the next calendar year comes around, with the former likely to be recalled by parent club Middlesbrough with a change of manager at the Riverside Stadium and the 21-year-old impressing at the City Ground.

The Blades also have a recall option for Lowe, although this is something they are unlikely to exercise with Enda Stevens, Rhys Norrington-Davies and Ben Osborn as three senior options at left wing-back at Bramall Lane.


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Steve Cooper confirms major Nottingham Forest player blow

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