Michael Hefele posted an injury update on Instagram, revealing that his rehabilitation was “going well” which is good news for Martin O’Neill. The Nottingham Forest defender has been out of action with an achilles injury since January, but his return date is unknown.
Hefele would love to be back for pre-season, admitting in the Instagram post that he gets impatient while being injured, but the recovery period is a long process. Those who have achilles tendon surgery can be in a protective boot for up to 12 weeks alone.
It can take several months before an injured player has complete use of their foot and ankle, and then there’s the matter of building up fitness. A full return can take up to six months, so Hefele’s return date may be in line for pre-season if he doesn’t have any complications. His future at the City Ground is uncertain, however.
The 28-year-old could find himself behind Tobias Figueiredo, Joe Worrall, Yohan Benalouane, Alexander Milosevic and Michael Dawson in the pecking order next season. Supporters have been critical of many performances from Hefele too.
Whether he can nail down a starting place in 2019/20 remains to be seen, but it’s good news that he’s making progress in his rehabilitation. Forest won’t rush the defender back and may use u23 football to boost his sharpness like they did with Sam Byram and Figueiredo, so time will tell what happens to Hefele.