The midfielder suffered a thigh strain at Coventry in midweek. His absence is likely to give club captain Paul McKenna the chance to start a league game for the first time since November.
Paul Konchesky will be handed his home debut at left-back after making his first appearance during the win at the Ricoh Arena.
However, fellow new boy Robbie Findley must continue to wait for his debut due to a thigh injury he sustained in training this week.
Nathan Tyson missed the Coventry game with a back problem and the forward remains a doubt.
Forest are the form team in the Championship having taken 22 points from the last eight games, extending their unbeaten run at the City Ground to 33 league matches in the process.