Martin O’Neill gave an update on Sam Byram, revealing that the on-loan Nottingham Forest defender is “desperate” to make his long-awaited return from injury. Forest are “holding back”, however, to ensure Byram doesn’t overdo it upon his recovery and risk returning to the treatment table.
O’Neill said to Nottinghamshire Live: “The medical staff are taking their time with Sam, because of the injuries he has had in the past. That is not a bad thing, even if Sam is desperate to get going. I think we are just holding fire with him a little bit. He might be involved in an Under-23s game, although we need to have a conversation about that.
“He is doing just fine. He is training regularly. He does not miss any sessions. I think if he can get a couple more (Under-23s) games under his belt, you never know.” Byram has made three appearances in all competitions since joining Forest from West Ham United until the end of the season.
The 25-year’s last game for the Reds came against Newcastle United on August 29, 2018, but he could feature again before the campaign comes to a close. In Byram’s absence, Saidy Janko was signed on loan from FC Porto and has competed with Tendayi Darikwa for a starting place at right-back.
Byram was left out of the u23s squad that faced Swansea on Friday and isn’t likely to make the first-team matchday squad either. He’ll be working on his fitness to boost his chances of playing in the coming weeks. Forest have eight games of the season left and have a playoff place to fight for.
O’Neill has stated that he won’t risk injuring the right-back by rushing him back, so Byram might have to be content with mollycoddling.