Nottingham Forest legend Nigel Clough confirmed that Reds defender Riley Harbottle needed hospital treatment on Saturday. The Reds defender was withdrawn just 19 minutes into a 0-0 draw for Mansfield Town at home to Sutton United.

The 22-year-old defender has been on loan with Mansfield all season. He’s made 32 appearances in total for the Stags and the experience he is getting looks invaluable to his development.

Harbottle hospital Clough
(Photo; Jon Hobley; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)

In Clough, he has a manager who isn’t afraid to throw youngsters into the mix. Just lately, the Forest legend has been including members of the Mansfield Under-18s team in his matchday squad.

For Harbottle, his latest outing won’t live long in the memory. Just 19 minutes into Saturday’s game, he was forced off after a nasty-looking clash with Sutton player Coby Rowe.

Clough has confirmed that it didn’t look good for the player. He did, however, suggest that he was improving after receiving treatment in the hospital.

He told the club’s official website: “He’s up and around but he’s gone to the hospital to be checked out. It’s not ideal to lose another player.”

Mansfield are losing ground on the play-off places at the moment. They currently sit three behind Bradford and Clough knows his team must put together a run of wins if they’re to earn a crack at promotion.

Clough confirmed hospital treatment for Harbottle

This doesn’t look to be nice news but it does at least sound encouraging. Mansfield desperately need Harbottle and hopefully, the defender can be helping his team next weekend.

The centre-back is approaching a crossroads in his career. He does have a contract with Forest until 2024 but at 22-years-old he really needs to be playing regular football.

Harbottle hospital Clough
(Photo; Jon Hobley; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)

Harbottle can play as part of a two or a three at the heart of a defensive unit. As a result, that versatility should definitely help him as his career progresses.

The Nottingham-born defender has made a couple of appearances for the Reds. However, he might feel that his development is better served elsewhere when he takes stock in the summer.

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