Carl Jenkinson has returned to training at Nottingham Forest and will be hoping, once again, that his luck has turned.

The lesser-spotted right-back has endured a wretched run over recent years.

Whether it be fitness issues or fierce competition for places, the 27-year-old has spent far longer than he would have liked stuck on the sidelines.

For long periods, he has been little more than a spectator on the payroll.

Sounds great doesn’t it, but the situation will have been a source of considerable frustration for Jenkinson.

After all, he isn’t supposed to be in the stands.

A cheerleader role has been forced upon him, with the injury bug striking again shortly after arriving at the City Ground.

Just four appearances have been taken in for the Reds, with the last of those coming on August 31.

Treatment

(Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

More could be on the way, but there are no givens to be found there.

As Jenkinson knows all too well, merely being clear of the treatment table is not enough.

The right-back role he intended to nail down, now belongs to Matty Cash.

It is safe at assume that an academy graduate starring in what was previously an unfamiliar post will not give up his place without a fight.

Which means that another festive period full of little cheer may lie in store for Jenkinson.

He is accustomed to seeing in Christmas without the merriment.

Over the course of the last four years, he has taken in only one December appearance.

That solitary outing came for Arsenal against Qarabag in the Europa League on December 13, 2018.

Clock

Prior to that, you have to turn the clock back to four appearances for West Ham in 2015.

Time is still on his side in 2019.

Forest have three games to take in before November comes to a close – against Bristol City, QPR and Cardiff.

Were he to figure in any/all of those, then momentum would be re-established.

Even he if remains on the outside looking in, Sabri Lamouchi will at least have an alternative option on the right of the back four.

Six fixtures lie in store throughout December, with rotation to be expected at some stage.

Jenkinson, if fully fit, will undoubtedly come into contention.

So all is not lost for a summer signing who has become something of a forgotten man, with it still possible for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to be enjoyed.

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