Aitor Karanka said he hopes to Daryl Murphy back for Nottingham Forest after the international break, but also conceded that the striker is “not as fit as I’d like him to be”. Forest’s next game now isn’t until Saturday, November 24, with Karanka’s men travelling to the KCOM Stadium to face Hull City in their penultimate match of the month.
With Forest scoring just one or less goals in each of their last three Championship games, Karanka is hoping to have more options in attack by the time they lock horns with Hull. Murphy has been out of action since October 6 due to a virus, last featuring against Middlesbrough, but should be in line to play in late-November or December.
He’s been back in training for some time but is still short of match fitness, suggesting he may not be in the squad to face the Tigers. Karanka said to Nottingham Live: “I hope to have one or two players back after the international break – players like Daryl Murphy and Danny Fox.
“The more players we have available after the break, the better it will be for everyone. Daryl is fit – but just not as fit as I would like for him to be. He is training with the team again; he trained on Thursday and Friday. But with Karim at the club I do have more alternatives now.”
Murphy has played eight times in all competitions for Forest this season, scoring and creating an impressive six goals. His appearance record is spotty, however, as he’s been in and out of the team under Karanka.
The 35-year-old was an unused substitute for three games in August and one in October, in addition to being out of the matchday squad for three games in September and Forest’s last five outings up to this point. He’ll provide another dimension in attack when he’s back, but his manager has hinted that Murphy has some work to do.