Sheffield United: Max Lowe's eligibility status for Nottingham Forest play-off clash confirmed

Max Lowe, on loan at Nottingham Forest from Sheffield United, will not be able to feature for Steve Cooper’s side in the Championship play-offs against his parent club even if he makes a surprise return from injury.

Monday, 9th May 2022, 1:01 pm
Updated Monday, 9th May 2022, 4:37 pm

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The defender moved to the City Ground on loan from Bramall Lane earlier this season, immediately becoming an important member of the squad which rose from the foot of the table to fourth under Cooper’s stewardship.

But Lowe has not featured for Forest, who travel to South Yorkshire for the first leg of their semi-final with United on Saturday, since March after being diagnosed with a groin problem. Officials at the English Football League last night told The Star that, should the 24-year-old recover in time, he can’t line-up against United either at Bramall Lane this weekend or when Paul Heckingbottom’s side visit the City Ground next Tuesday.

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Max Lowe is on loan at Nottingham Forest: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

“A player can not play against his parent club unless the clubs have mutually agreed on the loan form when the signing took place,” an EFL spokesperson said.

With Lowe forced to sit out United’s visit to the east Midlands in November, the spokesperson added: “Confirmation of specific details would be one for the clubs.”

The future for Lowe

Max Lowe of Sheffield United in action for his parent club in the Premier League: Ben Stansall - Pool/Getty Images

Lowe, signed from County by Paul Heckingbottom’s predecessor Chris Wilder, Lowe admitted he is “loving” life with Forest during a recent interview. Despite that response, to a leading question, his future at United will be reviewed by Heckingbottom later this summer.

Asked if Lowe could force himself into his starting eleven, Heckingbottom deliberately left the door open as part of a ploy designed to strengthen his negotiating position should Forest attempt to recruit the full-back on a permanent basis.

Morgan Gibbs-White, Conor Hourihane and Ben Davies, on loan at United from Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa and Liverpool respectively, are all eligible for selection during the end-of-term knockouts. But Oliver Burke can not feature after completing the campaign with Millwall. Luke Freeman, his United team mate, also moved to The Den on a temporary basis before being struck down by injury.

"Players returning from loan can not play for their parent clubs in the play-offs,” the EFL spokesperson stated.