Aitor Karanka revealed Michael Dawson will be out of action for Nottingham Forest against Preston North End on Saturday and hopes he’ll return in time to face Derby County nine days later. The Reds centre-back picked up a hamstring injury against Ipswich Town over the weekend and was brought off in the 79th minute for Ben Osborne.
Forest have somewhat of an injury crisis at the back, as now only will Dawson miss Saturday’s clash with Preston, his usual defensive partner Tobias Figueiredo is suspended. It leaves Karanka having to play Jack Robinson and Michael Hefele as a makeshift partnership.
Dawson has a chance of returning in time for Forest’s big Midlands derby outing but Karanka will not take any risks. He said to Nottingham Live: “(Michael won’t) be fit for Preston, no. We hope he might have a chance to be back soon. I do not want to take risks with games coming in December. If Michael is fit for the game against Derby, then great. But we will not take any risks with him.”
The 35-year-old has made 10 Championship appearances this season and has become indispensable at the heart of the defence. Dawson wasn’t even in the starting lineup at the start of the campaign but Forest now have to find a way to cope without him.
Karanka’s men are in fine form of late, boasting three wins and two draws from their last five games while picking up four clean sheets, so organisation clearly isn’t a problem. Whether that falls apart in Dawson’s absence remains to be seen, however.