Martin O’Neill has downplayed Michael Dawson’s chances of retuning for Nottingham Forest ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Bolton Wanderers. The 35-year-old has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since December but is finally back in training and is working on his match fitness.
Dawson is unlikely to be in a position face the Trotters, however, as he’s not featured in an u23 game. O’Neill told Nottinghamshire Live that Tobias Figueiredo was making better progress in his recovery than Dawson, but the centre-back still hasn’t made the matchday squad either.
The Forest manager said: “We have a couple of injury concerns. We will see. I think Tobias is further on than big Dawson. Dawson trains with us now and does not seem to have any real problem. But he has not been involved in an under-23 game yet.”
Dawson’s future at the City Ground is uncertain this summer. He has another year left on his contract at Forest but may struggle for playing time next season due to the stiff competition for places – Joe Worrall, Figueiredo, Yohan Benalouane, Alexander Milosevic, Michael Hefele.
The former England international has made only 10 Championship appearances this season, the last of which came against Ipswich Town on December 1, 2018. He hadn’t been on the losing team in any of his league outings, but Forest have had to cope for the majority of the campaign without him due to his injury woes.
Whether O’Neill sees Dawson is a vital component for 2019/20 remains to be seen.