Michael Dawson is progressing well after his injury, but the Nottingham Forest defender still hasn’t returned to training.
Martin O’Neill revealed to Nottinghamshire Live that Dawson won’t be rushed back until his injury has completely cleared, as he’ll be at risk of suffering another setback in his recovery otherwise.
The Reds boss said: “Michael is making very good progress, he has not trained with us yet. His enthusiasm to get back, set him back last time. There was a new manager coming in and he wanted to get out there and prove a point.
“He was not absolutely at full stretch when he suffered the injury and sometimes that can play on your mind. So it is best for him to get it cleared up as best as possible, so that he is ready and does not miss any more games. He is doing well.”
The 35-year-old has been out of action since early-December, missing 18 Championship games over the last three months. O’Neill had to sign Alexander Milosevic, Yohan Benalouane and Molla Wague in January as a result of the injury crisis to the defence.
Dawson has made 10 league appearances this season and developed a successful partnership alongside Tobias Figueiredo before his injury. In his 10 games for Forest, the Midlands outfit have won five and drawn five, keeping six clean sheets for their troubles.
His return date is unknown, but the next step for Dawson is returning to training. Forest’s next league game against Swansea City on March 30, although it’s highly unlikely that fans will see the centre-back’s name in the squad.
That means an April return is on the cards. Forest face Rotherham United (April 6), Sheffield Wednesday (April 9), Blackburn Rovers (April 13), Sheffield United (April 19), Middlesbrough (April 22) and Queens Park Rangers (April 27) next month, but it remains to be seen which game Dawson make his comeback in.