The Forest outcast who can be vital to their chances next season

Nottingham Forest's Jamie Mackie could provide cover for Britt Assombalonga while he is out injured.

With Nottingham Forest striker Britt Assombalonga ruled out for 12 months with injury, the most pressing concern for the club this summer is likely to be bringing in a striker.

Assombalonga has contributed the bulk of Forest's goals this season, with his return of 15 goals in 32 matches particularly impressive for a player who had never played at Championship level previously.

The 22-year-old looks a top talent, but his absence seriously reduces Forest's attacking threat and filling the void looks a tough test.

Even if the Reds had the freedom to sign who they wanted finding an adequate replacement would have been an unenviable task, but with Forest under a transfer embargo it becomes virtually impossible.

Forest are only able to bring in loans or free transfers and, therefore, their chances of finding anyone of the same quality of Assombalonga look limited.

It means that some existing members of their squad may be given a chance to step into his shoes and one of the players set to benefit could be Jamie Mackie.

Mackie has struggled since arriving at Forest back in 2013, with his goalscoring record well short of the quality required.

However, the forward does have ability and he could be well suited to fit in with Dougie Freedman's style. 

The Scottish boss demands that his players are hard-working and one of Mackie's biggest strengths is his willingness to chase lost causes.

At the moment Mackie is out on loan at Reading, where he has been a regular in their line-up this season, and Forest may look to re-introduce him to their squad next season. 

Although he has been utilised on the wings more recently in his career, the 29-year-old is also comfortable as an out-an-out striker and he could be a good short-term option to cover for Assombalonga.

Although he doesn't posses Assombalonga's predatory instincts, Mackie still has the ability to perform an important function for the side and Freedman should seriously consider bringing him back into starting contention at the City Ground. 

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch