Nottingham Forest have turned to Steve Cook to solve their defensive injury crisis after Willy Boly was ruled out for the rest of the season.
Boly is expected to be out for at least three months while Scott McKenna is also sidelined for six weeks.
The defenders were forced off in the same minute with hamstring injuries in last week’s 2-0 defeat at Fulham.
It has meant Forest have appealed to the Premier League to recall Cook to their 25-man squad after he was initially left out last month.
Boss Steve Cooper said: “It’s not great. Scott is going to be out for six weeks – Willy is even worse and we’re looking at longer than three months. It’s not the news we were hoping for.
“I know it’s a bit of a talking point, our injuries, but there’s no crying from us.
“We’d like it to be different but we have to be positive, we have to play with a can-do mentality because if we don’t no-one else will believe us.
“We have applied through Premier League rules to bring Steve back into the 25-man squad.
“We are more than hopeful it will be fine, we are expecting that to happen with the circumstances we find ourselves in.
“He has had a very productive 12 months for us, we’re all fond of him here.
“He has been good, been very professional and with it happening so quickly it’s felt pretty normal. He’s been really positive, a lesser man maybe would have been a bit different.”
Cooper hopes to have Cook available for Manchester City’s visit on Saturday with the returning defender primed to face Erling Haaland.
The striker has 26 goals in his first top-flight season so far and Cooper knows the challenge they face.
“He’s one of the best number nines in the world, he’s had a seamless transition to English football, there’s no point hiding away from what we are up against,” he said.
“These are the games we wanted when we searched for promotion. You want to be coming up against the best teams and players.
“You want to show you can do your best. We are looking forward to the game. Whatever team City play they are incredible all over the pitch.
“This is what the club longed for. Every Premier League game has been brilliant. We have to be very focused on what it takes to do well.”
Ryan Yates remains out with Moussa Niakhate, Dean Henderson, Omar Richards and Cheikhou Kouyate while Jesse Lingard (knee and Achilles) is still struggling.