Newcastle United avoid further Chris Wood heartbreak as Nottingham Forest give update

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Chris Wood scored a hat-trick during Nottingham Forest's 3-1 win over Newcastle United at St James' Park in December

Newcastle United supporters can sleep easier as Chris Wood is ruled out for Nottingham Forest this weekend.

Few Toon supporters would have feared his inclusion when he was allowed to join the Tricky Trees a year ago. Wood was one of the first players to join Newcastle under Saudi ownership but failed to make an impact.

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Just five goals in 39 appearances failed to justify his £25million transfer fee but the Magpies raked most of that back when Forest came calling. However, the New Zealand international conjured up a Christmas curse to put Newcastle to the sword on Boxing Day.

A stunning hat-trick bewildered Eddie Howe’s side and earned Forest an unlikely comeback win. Any chances of him repeating those heroics this weekend were quashed when Nuno Espirito Santo provided an injury update.

Newcastle travel to the City Ground aiming to exert revenge for the 3-1 hiding in December and Wood will be absent after picking up a hamstring strain. The 32-year-old limped off during Forest’s 2-1 defeat to Arsenal a week ago and, speaking ahead of their FA Cup replay against Bristol City, Nuno revealed he could face two months on the sidelines.

“He (Wood) is out,” he told reporters. “He is going to be out for some time. Hopefully not a long time, but let’s see. We are frustrated but this happens. Chris felt uncomfortable so we did a scan and there is a minor injury there.”

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Nuno hinted former Liverpool striker Divock Origi may be drafted in as his replacement. The Belgian has not featured since the Forest boss’ first change in charge against Bournemouth.

“Divock is probably available, let’s see,” he added. “He has started training and he is much better. We have another session tomorrow. We will see whether Divock can give us a hand.”

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