American Exports: Eric Lichaj undergoes hernia surgery, return date for Nottingham Forest unclear

Eric Lichaj

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AMSTERDAM – Nottingham Forest have not yet set a return timetable for recovering wingback Eric Lichaj, but the club is hopeful he will be back in action by the end of their EPL promotion drive.

The US international underwent double hernia surgery this week after hobbling off near halftime of a March 1 Championship loss to visiting Wigan. He missed nine of 10 games before that match, and the club is proceeding cautiously before setting a target return date after previously thinking Lichaj had a groin problem or pelvic injury or infection.

"We are hoping that Eric will feature before the end of season," Forest press officer Ben White told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday.

A summer 2013 arrival from Aston Villa, Lichaj has started 23 of his 26 games on the campaign for the club, who play their last regular season game at home to Brighton Hove & Albion on May 3. With 10 league matches remaining, Forest currently hold the last promotion playoff spot in sixth place, one point ahead of both Brighton and Daniel Williams' Reading.

Should they reach the postseason, Forest could be playing until the May 24 promotion final at Wembley, making it quite possible Lichaj would need an excused tardy slip if called to Jurgen Klinsmann's prep camp for this summer's World Cup in Brazil.

The US national team will begin to gather for training on May 14, with the final roster submission due to FIFA on June 2.