Martin O’Neill has revealed that Hillal Soudani is “progressing” after his serious knee injury but is unlikely to return this season. The Nottingham Forest striker has been out of action since November but was showcasing positive signs of a recovery on social media until O’Neill gave a negative update.
The Reds manager said to the club’s official website: “It is good news that (Soudani) is progressing. He is away recuperating but I would be very surprised if we see him before the end of the season. It would be a terrific surprise, however.”
The 31-year-old has scored two goals in six Championship outings since joining Forest from Dinamo Zagreb last summer, spending the majority of his debut campaign on the treatment table. O’Neill has Lewis Grabban, Daryl Murphy and Leo Bonatini who can play upfront so Soudani’s absence hasn’t hurt Forest.
He’s still got two years remaining on his deal at the City Ground so supporters should see Soudani next season. As shown on his social media, the centre-forward is back on his feet and has been videoed doing keepy-ups, so there’s no reason why he won’t be fit at the start of the 2019/20 campaign.
And while Forest are blessed with good attacking options, Soudani scored 86 goals in 196 games for Zagreb and boasts a goal every 72 minutes in the Championship, so he could be a good option to have in the future.