Nottingham Forest striker Taiwo Awoniyi is expected to be out of action for “months” after having surgery on a groin injury.
The 26-year-old has featured in Forest’s last three Premier League matches but missed games in October against Crystal Palace and Luton Town due to the problem.
Awoniyi previously picked up the groin issue in training and had been feeling its impact but has played through the pain.
Forest head coach Steve Cooper confirmed that the Nigeria international has had surgery and is set for an extended period on the sidelines.
Cooper said: “It’s bad news on Taiwo, he’s had to have surgery and he is going to be out for months.
“We’ll support him and try to get him back as quick and as fit as he can be, but it’s a really unfortunate situation and a blow for him.
“He’s become an important player for us with the goals he’s scored and the goals he will score for us, but he’s such a good guy and a good professional who is desperate to do well, so to get an injury like this is harsh on him.
“We’ve got to support him through the process of coming back stronger. He’s done that once before here and I’m sure he will give everything again like he did last time.
“You think about how well he did when he returned last season, I’m sure that’s given him a good reference point to come back to.
“We’ll definitely see him again this season, but it’s groin surgery so it will take a little while.”
News of his latest setback will come as a blow to Forest and Cooper, with Awoniyi being a key player since he joined the Premier League side from Union Berlin last summer.
He netted ten goals last season as Forest edged their way to safety in the top flight, following their promotion via the Championship play-offs. During this campaign, he has so far scored four times in 10 Premier League appearances.
Forest have options in attack, with both Chris Wood and Divock Origi returning in their defeat to West Ham United following their recovery from injuries.
Cooper’s side return to action this Saturday at home to Brighton & Hove Albion.
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