Nottingham Forest are down to the bare bones and perhaps Steve Cooper will have to promote Zach Abbott from the academy.

The Reds have explained that Willy Boly and Scott McKenna will be missing for months after their hamstring injuries sustained at Fulham.

That leaves Joe Worrall and Felipe as the only available central defenders; with Moussa Niakhate close but not yet ready to return.

Abbott Forest
(Photo; James Williamson; AMA; Getty Images)

In the short term, Forest have a huge problem to solve. It’s okay that Felipe and Worrall can play but having no option from the bench is a concern.

Cooper hasn’t been shy when it comes to utilising the club’s academy. Now, it could be Abbott’s chance to start training with the first team.

The 16-year-old is a fancied youngster. A report by The Guardian back in August claimed that Cooper was a huge fan of the academy starlet.

Abbott has already played for the first team. He made his debut in the Carabao Cup against Grimsby, coming on for the last four minutes.

Playing in the Premier League would obviously be a huge step up. If Worrall and Felipe stay fit, however, he likely wouldn’t be needed as anything other than backup.

Niakhate is on the way back too. He is back training on the grass and Cooper will hope to be able to call on him sooner rather than later.

Forest down to bare bones and Cooper could promote Abbott

This wouldn’t be without risk. The Reds need an option though and despite signing 30 players since the summer, it’s fair to say that injuries have decimated the squad.

Furthermore, it would be an ideal shot in the arm for the fan base if they could see academy lads still getting a look in. The Reds have a proud history with that and it shouldn’t become a thing of the past.

Abbott Forest
(Photo; James Williamson; AMA; Getty Images)

Abbott is an intelligent player. He featured in last season’s FA Youth Cup Final and in playing him for four minutes against Grimsby, it’s clear that Cooper rates him highly.

A lack of options is a real concern. As a result, Forest have nothing to lose by promoting Abbott to the senior ranks as an option alongside Felipe and Worrall.

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