Tendayi Darikwa has endured a rough ride during the last 18 months and is currently in a fight to save his Nottingham Forest career.
The right-back injured his ACL during a training session shortly after Sabri Lamouchi arrived in the summer of 2019.
Had the season run its usual course he would have missed the entire campaign. Project restart seemed like it might earn him a reprieve, however, with Darikwa fighting back to fitness.
The former Burnley player made the bench for three of Forest’s final four games during 2019/20 but didn’t make it onto the pitch.
Following the departure of Matty Cash it seemed as though a door would swing open for the 28-year-old to revive his career.
Lamouchi had other ideas though.
Jordan Gabriel started at Barnsley in the Carabao Cup and at Barnsley in the Championship, with Carl Jenkinson starting the game against Cardiff.
Darikwa is way down the pecking order and with Chris Hughton replacing Lamouchi he faces a new fight to get into the team.
The workmanlike player is yet to make a squad under the new boss but a new opportunity has emerged.
Despite his lack of action, Darikwa has been called up by Zimbabwe head coach Sunday Chidzambwa for a double-header with Algeria.
Cyrus Christie has been the mainstay since Hughton arrived but his form hardly makes him immovable.
Likewise, Jenkinson who has been alright since arriving from Arsenal but has hardly produced real quality.
Darikwa signed from the Clarets in 2017 for £1 million and was in really good form under the management of Aitor Karanka during 2018/19.
He has played 63 games for the Reds but hasn’t taken to the field since March 2019 when he played 90 minutes of a 2-1 win over Swansea.
Darikwa should get the chance to play two games for Zimbabwe and surely Hughton will monitor them closely.
The defender recently played for the under-23 team and that at least is a strong step in the right direction.
A model professional and a player capable of playing the role of a modern day full-back, Darikwa could still do a job for the Reds.
The challenge for the Forest man is to use the upcoming international stage as a platform to throw himself into Hughton’s thinking.