Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper has claimed that he simply doesn’t know how long Moussa Niakhate will be out for after suffering another injury last night. The Reds lost 1-0 to Valencia and the Senegal international went off with a dislocated elbow.

It never rains, it pours when it comes to the injury situation at Forest. Niakhate missed seven months of last season with a hamstring problem and now he’s set to face another spell on the sidelines; before the competitive action has even got underway!

Forest Niakhate
Photo; Marc Atkins; Getty Images

The 27-year-old looked in pain as he left the field of play at Valencia’s training facility. He clearly won’t take part in the rest of pre-season and now he faces a race against time to be fit for the team’s opening matches of the 2023/24 campaign.

Cooper has conceded that he really doesn’t know how long he will be out at this stage. He showed disappointment after the game and he will be rooting for his player to come back quickly.

The head coach told Nottinghamshire Live: “He dislocated his elbow, so it’s obviously a difficult moment for him. You hope that with a dislocation, you can put them back into place and the damage may not be as severe as what it might be, but we don’t know.

“It might still be an injury that can keep him out for a little while, or it might be a quicker recovery than what it first looked. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.”

Cooper doesn’t know how long Forest star Niakhate will be out

This is pretty grim from a Forest perspective. Although the club has a few options in reserve at centre-back, none of them perhaps offer the same level of solidity as Niakhate does.

He will be sorely missed at the heart of the defensive unit. Felipe is also out at the moment and hopefully, Forest can get him out on the pitch pretty quickly now.

Forest Niakhate
Photo; Marc Atkins; Getty Images

Niakhate is having some rotten luck. It’s hard to call the Reds for signing the player, given that he missed three games through injury in 18 months at Mainz – with two of those coming because of Covid-19.

The rehabilitation will start immediately. Now, all Niakhate can do is focus on the comeback being stronger than the setback and hope that he’s back on the pitch pretty quickly.

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