Nottingham Forest‘s preparations for the new season have been dealt a blow following a fresh injury setback to midfielder Ryan Yates.
What’s the word?
As per Nottinghamshire Post, manager Steve Cooper has confirmed that the 24-year-old will be out of action for the next few weeks, having been absent from the recent 1-1 draw with Valencia in what was the newly-promoted side’s final pre-season game of the summer.
The Englishman had only made his comeback from a knee issue in the meeting with Notts County on Tuesday evening, although Cooper has now revealed that he has sustained another injury problem:
“Ryan played 45 minutes against Notts County the other day. He’s picked up another knock on his knee, so he’s going to be out for a couple of weeks,
“You can imagine what he’s been like! It’s been a challenge for him to get back and get some minutes. It would have been great to have involved him today, but he’s just had a little bit of a few setbacks in pre-season. You know Yatesy, what hurts him will make him stronger. They are only minor things, and we will see him sooner rather than later.”
The former Swansea City boss did also insist that summer signing Wayne Hennessey will be available for selection ahead of next week’s season opener against Newcastle United, despite the 34-year-old having also missed the clash with the La Liga side due to a “quad problem”.
Cooper will be gutted
That setback to Yates will come as a real blow to Forest’s promotion-winning coach with less than a week to go until the new Premier League campaign gets underway, with Cooper set to be gutted at not having his midfield general to call upon.
Will Forest beat Newcastle next week?
Yes, total faith
No, not convinced
The academy graduate had been instrumental in securing a long-awaited return to the top-flight last term, scoring nine goals in all competitions – including eight in the league – to help fire the City Ground outfit out of the second tier.
That was by far his best goalscoring return in his club career thus far, with the £3.6m-rated man – who previously endured four loan stints away from the Midlands side – seemingly having been reborn under his current boss.
Not just a threat in the final third, however, the Lincoln-born gem also offers real strength defensively, having averaged 1.9 clearances, 1.9 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per game from his 43 Championship outings, while also winning a solid 61% of his aerial duels.
Having seen promising youngster James Garner return to parent club Manchester United after his impressive loan spell last season, the playoff final winners are distinctly short of options in the centre of the park, albeit with Belgian brute Orel Mangala seemingly set to sign as a matter of when and not if.
Losing Yates to another setback will only pose a further selection issue for the upcoming trip to St James’ Park, as the two-time European champions look to earn a positive start in what will be their first season in the top tier since 1999.
Once dubbed a “diamond” by former Barrow boss Paul Cox, the £7.7k-per-week titan was a key cog in Cooper’s relentless machine last term, with it set to be a major headache for the 42-year-old not to have the reliable figure in tow.