American Exports: Eric Lichaj's return uncertain as Nottingham Forest preach caution with groin injury

Eric Lichaj

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AMSTERDAM – Nottingham Forest hope Eric Lichaj will be fully recovered from spring groin surgery in time for the start of the new Championship season, but they're perfectly willing to wait longer if that's what it takes to get the US international back to 100 percent.

The wingback missed the final 13 games of last season with the nagging injury, and only managed to dress for four Reds matches after the midway point of the league schedule. 

"He is still in the recuperation phase, trying to regain his strength and fitness," Forest press officer Ben White told MLSsoccer.com. "It depends on how well he responds, but he might stand a chance to start the season with us."

However, the club's main drive is to get Lichaj back to his best. Though Forest open the new season with an August 9 visit from Blackpool, there is no fitness race going on for the defender. 

Team doctors are confident the injury and subsequent operation will soon be a memory, and do not wish to risk any setbacks in other leg joints because the defender tried to compensate for the healing groin muscle.

"If it takes a little bit longer, that's what he'll do," said White. "You don't want him to put added pressure [to spare the groin] and then hurt his ankle."