DJ denies he has played last tune
DAVID Johnson has vehemently denied he has retired due to a back injury and intends to be back playing before Christmas.The former Blues favourite, who has scored 50 goals in less than 120 appearances for Nottingham Forest, has also suffered an appalling catalogue of injuries at the City Ground.
By Derek Davis
DAVID Johnson has vehemently denied he has retired due to a back injury and intends to be back playing before Christmas.
The former Blues favourite, who has scored 50 goals in less than 120 appearances for Nottingham Forest, has also suffered an appalling catalogue of injuries at the City Ground.
He suffered a double leg break that kept him out of the game for almost a year. But it is a serious back injury that has threatened to end the 30-year-old's career. Johnson dislodged a spinal disc and trapped a nerve and has not played since last December.
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It has been rumoured that Johnson is awaiting an insurance pay-off and that Forest are looking to terminate his contract, which still has almost two years to run.
But Johnson is adamant that is not true and that he is planning to play again, although he did not take part in Richard Naylor's testimonial match at Portman Road on Saturday.
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Johnson said: “It is not true that I have retired. I read in the programme that I had and that is why I couldn't play, but the truth is I have not played for Forest yet so I couldn't play here. Also I have not really trained with the players at my club, so I'm not match-fit, but the manager thought it would be good for me to come down here and be involved.
“So Forest fans can expect to see me back, I'm still working on getting fit and will be fine.
“Forest are doing well, we are top of the table and the new manager Colin Calderwood is doing a really good job and I hope to be available for him.
“Hopefully I should be training in a couple of weeks and playing this side of Christmas, It is just frustrating that it has taken so long.”
Although Johnson could not play, he was pitch-side for the game and joined in the evening celebrations too.
He said: “It is nice to turn up and see all the players and we all had some good banter.
“A lot of people turned up for a good cause. It is an amazing achievement for Richard to have been here playing for 10 years. To be at such a special club for so long, and remember he is still only 29, is fantastic.
“I'm really proud of him and for Bam Bam to score the goal right at the end was fantastic.”
It was an injury to Johnson that led to Naylor going on as a substitute and changing the game with his goal and performance at Wembley.
More testimonial coverage - Pages 58-59