By Harry Sykes
Fernando Forestieri is being targeted so much by opposition defenders that he currently has 20 bruises on his legs.
That is the startling revelation of Sheffield Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal as he revealed the impact of the rough treatment handed out to the team’s top scorer this season.
Forestieri has been sent off twice and yellow carded three times for stimulation since February and collected another caution for diving in Tuesday’s goal-less draw with MK Dons.
Carvalhal is convinced that Championship opponents are singling out Forestieri, who has been one of the leading forwards in the division this season.
The manager, who signed a contract extension earlier this week, fears Forestieri may have to suffer a serious injury to get a refereeing decision go in his favour.
“They (opponents) are kicking him, we should take a photo of his legs, he has a lot of ‘medals’ there,” Carvalhal told the Sheffield Telegraph. “There must be more than 20 kicks on his legs, you can see the marks.
“Do we wait until he breaks his leg before everybody says ‘oh it’s very serious, we must do something’?”
Despite missing a number of matches through suspension, Forestieri has scored 15 goals in 34 Championship matches this season and is a key player in Wednesday’s promotion bid.
The Yorkshire club are sixth in the league with a six-point cushion ahead of Saturday’s trip to Derby.
When asked if the situation will have a negative affect on the mental state of the Owls’ top-scorer, Carvalhal told the Sheffield Telegraph: “Absolutely zero. Fernando will do the same in the next game, because he is doing the correct things, not fake.
“I am really worried about this situation. We don’t like to talk about this, but we must, because if we don’t maybe our fans think we are sleeping.”
Carvalhal added that he is confused as to why Forestieri keeps getting penalised for simulation.
“I have never seen anything like this before and I do not understand,” said the manager.
In other Sheffield Wednesday news, Carvalhal has made a fresh commitment to the club.