Joe Lolley’s 2020/21 campaign was cut short following a hamstring injury suffered midway through March.
The 28-year-old, who had seen fewer minutes on the pitch during the early stages of 2021, limped off after 34 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Reading last season.
However, the highly talented winger returned to the pitch yesterday, playing 30 minutes in Forest’s 2-0 victory over Port Vale.
Lolley joined Forest in January 2018 from Huddersfield and has since racked up 100 appearances, emerging as a vital player for the club in recent years.
The winger progressed through the academy system at Birmingham before joining Bromsgrove Sporting in 2008. His route into professional football was paved after a two-year spell with Midland Combination side Littleton, with Lolley netting 88 times in 83 games to earn a move to Kidderminster.
After another excellent year in the Conference, Lolley joined Championship club Huddersfield in 2014. He made 80 appearances for The Terriers in a four-year stint, eventually departing for The Reds.
Taking to Instagram after appearing in yesterday’s win, and was clearly delighted to return to action with the Reds during pre-season.
Lolley’s 2020/21 season was cut short through injury, but he’ll be looking to be involved in their season opener against Coventry City on Sunday 8th August.
It seems to be a summer of change. Several clubs have done lots of early business with a whole host of sides embarking on rebuilding projects.
And whilst new arrivals are needed and will be appreciated at Forest, the return of Lolley can be equally as rewarding.
The winger is a real creative spark whose direct running and subsequent end-product make him such an exciting talent when in possession.
He may have started to fall out of favour before last season’s injury, but he now has pre-season to prove himself once again and force Chris Hughton to start him.
He has been an excellent servant to the club in recent years and certainly has the ability to help Forest in their quest to contend for the play-off positions next year.