Nottingham Forest boss reveals injured star is ‘unlikely’ to feature against Newcastle United

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Steve Cooper has provided an update on the fitness of Brennan Johnson ahead of Friday’s game with Newcastle United.

Johnson was substituted after an hour of Forest’s game with Tottenham Hotspur last weekend after picking up a groin injury. Johnson’s injury is just the latest selection headache for Steve Cooper who has revealed that the 21-year-old is ‘unlikely’ to feature against Newcastle United on Friday night.

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Cooper said: "The scan tells you something but you have to treat the player. It’s unlikely that Brennan will be involved at the weekend but there’s a small chance.

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"We want to give him every chance to see if he’s available and if he is, great, if not it’s just one of those things. I’m not completely ruling him out but at the same time when you walk off with a muscle injury it can take a bit longer than a week to recover.

"It would be disappointing [if Johnson can't play] but these things do happen. We’d love all of our players to be available and vying for a position to be in the team, but unfortunately on that front it hasn’t gone so well in the last couple of months.

"As I always say, you have to focus on the guys that are available to play and they are getting maximum attention from myself and the staff and full support as well."

Johnson was replaced by Chris Wood on Saturday, but the former Magpies striker lasted just six minutes before also having to be withdrawn from proceedings after suffering a thigh injury. Although Wood wouldn’t have been able to feature against Newcastle because of registration rules, Cooper also revealed that his injury would have kept the New Zealand international out of Friday night’s game.

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Steve Cooper has provided a major update on Brennan Johnson's fitness ahead of Newcastle United clash (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)Steve Cooper has provided a major update on Brennan Johnson's fitness ahead of Newcastle United clash (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Steve Cooper has provided a major update on Brennan Johnson's fitness ahead of Newcastle United clash (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Injuries to Wood and Johnson, coupled with the fact Taiwo Awoniyi is still a few weeks away from making his return to first-team action, means Emmanuel Dennis could be the man Cooper turns to lead the line at the City Ground. Alternatively, former West Ham man Andre Ayew or Sam Surridge, who has netted just once in the league this season, could be given opportunities to start.