Giulian Biancone featured for Nottingham Forest for the first time since October 2022 last night in the 5-0 defeat against Rennes.
The Frenchman has been on the sidelines for nine months, after suffering an ACL injury playing for the U23s.
The defender came on in the 77th minute for Joe Worrall, and although he only played 13 minutes, it is a huge step in the right direction as he looks to break into the starting XI ahead of the season opener at Arsenal next weekend.
23-year-old Biancone only joined the club last summer in a £5 million deal from Troyes. However, he only featured twice for the first team before injury ended his season prematurely.
Despite not featuring on the pitch, Biancone has become a fan favourite for his behind-the-scenes series giving supporters a closer look at his rehabilitation for his knee injury.
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What does this season hold for Biancone?
After such an injury-hit campaign last time around for the Frenchman, the personal aim for him has to be to avoid more time on the sideline.
He signed a three-year deal at the City Ground last summer. With a year already gone off his deal, he needs to be pushing to gain a consistent first-team spot.
However, if he wants to play at right-back he may find game time difficult to come by.
Serge Aurier and Neco Williams are already ahead of him in the pecking order with new signing Ola Aina looking very sharp in pre-season.
A loan move for Biancone may be beneficial for all parties this summer.
It would allow Forest to gain a space in their 25-man squad, whilst offering the defender consistent first-team minutes after nearly a year on the sidelines.