From Marcus McGuane to injury boost - What we noticed from Nottingham Forest's training return

The Reds players were back at the Nigel Doughty Academy for the first time since March this week

Premier League Covid-19 tests '98.8 per cent accurate'

Nottingham Forest have been back on the grass for the first time in almost three months this week as the players returned to training.

It was March 6 when the Reds were last in Championship action, falling 3-0 at home to Millwall.

Since then, the season has been suspended due to the coronavirus crisis, with Sabri Lamouchi’s men sat fifth in the table.

However, the first tentative steps have now been taken towards a return as it is hoped the campaign can be completed.

And with Forest back at the Nigel Doughty Academy, we’ve had a look at what we can learn from the club’s first few days on the training pitch.

Injury return

One of the key pointers to take from pictures of the squad back at work - at a suitable distance - was seeing Tendayi Darikwa among them.

The full-back has not featured for Sabri Lamouchi, after suffering a ruptured ACL before the season kicked off.

Back in October, he said he hoped to be involved towards the end of the term - and the additional time for recovery could mean he now gets that chance.

Only non-contact training is taking place at the moment, offering the chance for Darikwa to build his fitness and ease his way in.

Tiago Silva had been sidelined before matches came to a halt as he recovered from surgery for appendicitis, but is also back among the group.

Team spirit

A sense of unity and camaraderie has really stood out at the City Ground under Lamouchi.

Manager and players have all pinpointed the team spirit as being key to their promotion push.

And though they have been separated for a long period of time, and are now working at a distance, it seems none of that has been lost.

John Bostock’s clip of a reunion with Yohan Benalouane in the car park was testament to that.

There is a sense of players enjoying being in each other’s company again, even if they have to stand a few metres apart.

Nottingham Forest daily newsletter. Free. To your inbox

There's a quick and easy way to stay on top of all the Nottingham Forest news with our daily newsletter.

Delivered straight into your email inbox each day, the bulletins will feature the latest Forest news, views, gossip and opinion.

All you have to do is punch your email in at the top of the article - it looks just like this...

And what's more, it's absolutely free!

You can also get all the latest updates by following us on social media here Facebook and Twitter.

We also have a free app which you can download. It is always up-to-date with the latest Forest news. Google Play Store and App Store.

Young players

Throughout the season, there have been Academy players who have taken part in first-team sessions, and that is still the case.

Former Arsenal and Barcelona man Marcus McGuane, for instance, has been involved in the first few days back.

It remains to be seen whether any of the youngsters will get a run-out if the Championship resumes, though.

Lamouchi hasn’t been afraid to give youth a chance and if matches need to be compacted into a short space of time, it could be a case of having to utilise his squad.

That is some way down the line yet, however.