Nottingham Forest defender Yohan Benalouane has lifted the lid on why he has not been called up by Tunisia for the forthcoming African Cup of Nations.
The centre-back has been nursing a rather bizarre injury and he has taken to Instagram to clear up exactly the nature of his medical absence.
Benalouane is suffering from a rift in his buttock which he has been suffering from since the end of the 2018/19 campaign. The 32-year-old didn’t play in any of the Reds’ last three fixtures; missing two through suspension and one with the injury.
Since arriving from Leicester City in January, the centre-back has proved a popular figure with Forest fans, netting the winning goal in the 1-0 win over Derby County in February.
He posted two pictures on Instagram. One was of himself putting his finger to his lips, seemingly aimed at the people who have questioned whether he is really injured or not, whilst the other shows the ultrasound of the rift in his buttock:
View this post on Instagram
Pour ceux qui commence à polémiquer, voilà l échographie de mon fessier . Alors oui j ai parlé avec l entraîneur Alain Giresse qui je tiens à souligner est un très grand entraîneur mais surtout une très grande personne avec qui j ai eu une très bonne discussion et je lui ai dit ne pas être prêt pour 2 raisons premièrement je ne suis pas prêt car physiquement je dois récupérer à cause de cette déchirure au fessier et deuxièmement je ne veux pas répéter l erreur de l année dernière en participant à une compétition sans avoir fait les matchs de qualification.merci à ceux qui me soutiennent merci aux autres aussi votre haine ne vous mènera nulle part #peace #tunisie ❤️🇹🇳 Bonne chance à toute l équipe ainsi que tout le staff pour la CAN
The defender also claimed in the post that another reason for his absence from international duty is that he hasn’t taken part in the qualifying games.
Forest supporters will hope that he is fit and raring to go come the start of next season after suffering this injury.
Benalouane put in some solid performances during the second half of the season. His partnership with Alex Milosevic was particularly impressive and that may well continue next season.
The Reds will be spoilt for choice at the back next season. Michael Dawson, Tobias Figueiredo and Michael Hefele could all return from injury, whilst Joe Worrall is back following his loan at Rangers.