Nottingham Forest have to wait until Monday evening to return to action in the Premier League against Leicester City, but Steve Cooper has been speaking out on one player who has not been seen in the team so far this season.
The Forest boss took to his pre-match press conference to give an update on new signing Omar Richards and offered more details on his recovery from a hairline leg fracture.
Cooper told the press: “He is not back training. We are really happy with his progress, we are seeing him frequently on the grass.
“He’s not with us yet, but we are close to the final stages of his rehab. It’s still weeks rather than days, be we are really happy with his commitment.”
The news that the former Bayern Munich player is making good progress is a big boost for Nottingham Forest and Cooper, who will be wanting to start developing and nurturing the talents of the 24-year-old so that he can potentially become a key player in the team.
Richards picked up his injury in pre-season which would have been frustrating for both the player and his manager after signing for the newly-promoted side this summer, and the powers at The City Ground found themselves needing to bring in Renan Lodi on loan to cover his position in the squad.
Despite only making 12 appearances in the Bundesliga last season, the Englishman – who was signed by Bayern from Reading – played his part in the Bundesliga side’s league title win and showed glimpses of his ability – which clearly caught the eye of the Forest manager.
Cooper is a huge admirer of Richards, and has lavished praise on the player upon his arrival in Nottingham, hailing him a “threat” in an interview with The Athletic:
“He is very well-rounded, in terms of the profile of full-back/wing-back we want to have here. He has the athleticism, technically he is very good in terms of build-up play. He can be a threat in the final third. He has a mentality to play in this team — a strong one.”
With that being said, the progress in Richards’ recovery could give Forest a great new perspective in the team when he can finally make his competitive debut for the club as he is clearly a huge part of Cooper’s plans.