Nottingham Forest defender Scott McKenna is out for the season and that perhaps puts Joe Worrall in last-chance saloon territory.
The 26-year-old has fractured his collarbone and will play no further part of the 2022/23 campaign.
It comes as a real blow to the Reds who are already in short supply when it comes to fit central defenders.
McKenna is a sound player. He’s by no means perfect at Premier League level but he’s improved with each passing week.
His absence will throw Worrall another lifeline and in terms of lives he’s becoming Forest’s very own cat!
MORE FOREST STORIES
The club captain has endured a frustrating campaign. He’s been dropped by Cooper on several occasions and has only really played on a needs-must basis.
Worrall now finds himself in the last chance saloon with six games remaining and he must grasp this opportunity.
The 26-year-old has made 211 appearances for the Reds. He’s risen through the academy and he proved himself as an outstanding Championship performer.
Playing in the Premier League has proved difficult for him, however. He’s not really taken the league by storm and on occasions, he’s looked out of his depth.
That may sound harsh but clearly Cooper feels this too. He’s left him on the bench on several occasions, preferring other options instead.
Worrall in last chance saloon for Forest with McKenna injured
This isn’t a slight on Worrall but he won’t keep getting chances if his form doesn’t improve.
Take next season for example. Worrall could feasibly find himself as the team’s fifth-choice central defender if Premier League football is on the cards again.
Moussa Niakhate, Felipe, Willy Boly and McKenna have all been ahead of Worrall at various points this season.
With that in mind, this is a golden chance for Worrall. If Cooper sticks with a three, he will almost certainly get an opportunity to finally cement a place.
This time his situation is critical and if he doesn’t star in the final six games of the campaign, his Forest future could come under more scrutiny.