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Dublin: 7°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

Injury rules Nottingham Forest's in-form Irish goalkeeper out for the season

“It’s a big loss to the club to lose someone of Stephen’s stature. We know how well he’d been playing for us.”

Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Stephen Henderson.
Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Stephen Henderson.
Image: EMPICS Sport

NOTTINGHAM FOREST HAVE suffered a significant setback after it was confirmed that goalkeeper Stephen Henderson has been ruled out for the remainder of the season.

Henderson was replaced in the 23rd minute of Saturday’s defeat to Norwich City at Carrow Road. Forest manager Gary Brazil has said that the 28-year-old has undergone surgery on an Achilles injury and subsequently won’t play again this season.

“It’s a big loss to the club to lose someone of Stephen’s stature,” Brazil told BBC Nottingham. “We know how well he’d been playing for us. It’s disappointing for the boy, to know that’s his season over now.

“The rehab will start almost immediately. He’s in really good hands. We know what a good goalkeeper he is but we have to move on. It gives someone else an opportunity and hopefully they will grab it.”

Henderson, a former Ireland U21 international who has featured in the senior squad in the past, joined Forest from Charlton Athletic last summer.

He played in the club’s first seven games of the season before being dropped for Serbian international Vladimir Stojkovic. However, Henderson was restored to the starting line-up at the turn of the new year and displayed some impressive form to retain his place, making eight consecutive starts until injury struck last weekend.

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In an interview last week with the Nottingham Post, Henderson thanked Forest supporters for helping him to settle in after a challenging start to life at the City Ground.

“I am starting to get a bond with them and that is helping me,” said Henderson. “I just hope I can keep doing what I have been doing; that I can stay in the team and keep progressing.

“It does help your confidence, knowing you have that backing. When I first started off, I had a lot of criticism. But there were reasons why I was not up to scratch at the time.

“I knew that if I got another chance I would take it, but I am nowhere near established yet and I have to keep working and stay grounded.”

Henderson began his career as a 17-year-old with Aston Villa, before moving on to have spells with the likes of Bristol City, Portsmouth and West Ham.

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Paul Dollery

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