Nottingham Forest will be without six players ahead of Monday’s clash with Derby County- Juan Rafael Fuentes (knee), Tobias Figueiredo (leg), Michael Dawson (hamstring), Hilel Soudani (knee), Sam Byram (knee), Michael Hefele (achilles). Molla Wague is fit and available while Matty Cash is an injury doubt.
Fuentes may not play again for the Reds even if he does recover from his injury before the season finishes. The 29-year-old’s contract initially expired last summer, but Forest extended his deal to help him through his rehabilitation. Jack Robinson & Ben Osborn are good enough options at left-back and Fuentes wouldn’t have any sort of match fitness if he did fully recover either.
Dawson and Figueiredo’s injury threatened to derail Forest’s season, but Alexander Milosevic and Yohan Benalouane have impressed at centre-back. The pair will return in March but may face a struggle getting their places back. Soudani could be back sooner than anticipated after posting a positive injury update on social media.
Byram and Hefele don’t appear likely to return before the season finishes and may have played their last games for the club. Byram will return to parent club West Ham this summer and Hefele could be put up for sale – Aitor Karanka tried to sell him in January.
Monday’s meeting is a must-win for Forest in their pursuit of the playoffs. The Reds are currently ninth in the Championship with 47 points from 33 games and could halve the deficit to the top-six if they can beat their rivals.