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James Forrest grateful to Steve Clarke for not 'forgetting' him

James Forrest grateful to Steve Clarke for not 'forgetting' him
© Reuters
The Celtic winger returned in March after six months on the sidelines following ankle surgery.

James Forrest was grateful that Scotland boss Steve Clarke kept him in the loop during his lengthy absence.

Hearing from Clarke inspired the Celtic winger to keep going with his rehab following ankle surgery.

Now Forrest hopes the efforts to return will be rewarded with a place in the Scotland squad for the European Championship finals.

The 29-year-old spent almost six months on the sidelines before returning in early March and had only made two brief substitute appearances before Scotland began their World Cup qualifying campaign without him.

James Forrest File Photo
James Forrest in action for Celtic (Jeff Holmes/PA)

But Clarke made sure to keep Forrest feeling part of the group as Scotland set up their first appearance at a major finals since 1998.

"Obviously right at the start, I missed the first couple of camps and he has been very good that way," Forrest said. "Since he came in I had been involved in every squad so it was good he made me still feel a part of it.

"That is so good when you are injured, you can easily be forgotten about.

"That helps you work hard to try and come back and be in amongst the squad."

Scotland v Faroe Islands – FIFA World Cup 2022 – European Qualifying – Group F – Hampden Park
James Forrest is grateful Scotland boss Steve Clarke (above) kept him in the loop during his injury absence (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Forrest played a major role in Scotland's qualification, hitting five goals in the Nations League success that set up their play-off campaign, which he missed.

Now he has one more club game as Celtic face Hibernian on Saturday before the squad is selected.

"I have been feeling good in training over the last couple of months and been back playing the games and started the last couple of games as well," Forrest said.

"I have just been enjoying being back adding to my fitness in training and getting more game time as well, which always helps

"I am just looking forward to the last league game and I will take it from there."

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General view of Hampden Park on May 27, 2017
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Thursday's key events

· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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