Nottingham Forest have been handed a fitness boost with The Athletic confirming Joe Worrall is nearing a return to action.
The Reds centre-back hasn’t played since a 2-0 defeat to Cardiff City in September after breaking his foot.
Worrall broke a bone during the game and although he carried on until the end of the contest, his worst fears were realised afterwards.
Tobias Figueiredo has partnered Scott McKenna since Chris Hughton arrived on Trentside and Worrall will face a fight for his place.
The academy graduate played all 46 of Forest’s games in the Championship last season and being injured won’t have come easy to Worrall.
At 23 the Forest defender is deemed as a future star and has attracted interest from Arsenal and Burnley in the past.
A return to action for the youngster will see Hughton enjoy a wealth or talent at his disposal at centre-back.
Loic Mbe Soh has waited patiently for a chance too and Worrall can’t expect to walk back in.
Worrall has suggested as much during a recent interview with The Athletic.
He said: “I am looking forward to getting back in, but I don’t expect to be thrown straight back in. I know I have to earn the right to play again.
“We have a new manager and he’s not even seen me kick a ball yet. The side has been picking up points and when you are winning it’s understandable if the manager wants to keep the same team.
“It’s been tough sitting watching in the stands, but there is more difficult stuff going off in the world right now, isn’t there?”
What next for Worrall?
The defender is quite philosophical when it comes to getting back in the team.
With Forest playing well and Hughton enjoying a settled defence, forcing his way in won’t be easy.
Worrall was largely impressive last season, although his form did drop off towards the end of the campaign.
It has to be said that a partnership of McKenna and Worrall does look attractive on paper.
Figueiredo has been out of sorts on occasions this term too and Worrall and McKenna looks like a partnership for the future.
Forest will want to climb the table as quickly as possible and having the young defender back for a busy Christmas period will undoubtedly be a boost.