Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper has claimed that Moussa Niakhate is nowhere near ready to return to action.

The Reds defender hasn’t played since the second match of the season when Forest beat West Ham 1-0.

He was brilliant in that game and in the first match of the season against Newcastle.

Sadly, a hamstring injury has kept him sidelined and that’s haltered his progress in the Premier League.

Cooper claimed Niakhate
(Photo; Jon Hobley; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)

Last month he went away with the Senegal team and many fans presumed he was close to full fitness.

That isn’t the case though and Cooper has been addressing the situation regarding the centre-back.

It’s not good news and he’s delivered an upsetting update to Nottinghamshire Live.

Cooper said: “No, he’s not close. He is still very much in his rehab and he’s nowhere near consideration.

“I am not sure at the moment (whether he will make the World Cup), I am just thinking about him and Nottingham Forest.

“But that is far from being anywhere in our consideration at the moment. He is with the medical team and going through the process with them.”

Cooper has claimed Niakhate is nowhere near ready to return

This is a big blow for Forest.

Niakhate brings some pace to the Forest defensive unit and that is something which the other options do lack.

The 26-year-old cost Forest £12 million from Mainz in the summer.

He had been the club captain there for 18 months and he looked like an exceptional piece of business.

Cooper claimed Niakhate
(Photo; Michael Regan; Getty Images)

Forest have six games to play before the World Cup and now it would seem he’s facing a race against time to be fit.

The Reds are 19th in the Premier League and it’s fair to say they desperately need him fit as soon as possible.

Niakhate is a left-sided option and as a result, he’s the sort of player who can bring some balance to the team.

Cooper is desperate to bring Premier League wins to Forest and for now he will have to achieve that without the warrior-like defender.

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