The striker has been out of action for 13 months.
Derby County took the bragging rights from the game with left-back Marcus Olsson scoring his first goal for Derby to earn The Rams a win.
Forest did not look bad throughout the game but had no real goal threat to impact the game in the final third.
Federico Macheda, a recent loan signing from Cardiff City, lacked match fitness and with Nelson Oliveira out for the rest of the season, Forest never looked like getting the goal they needed.
Of course the club do have a potent finisher among their ranks.
Britt Assombalonga was signed from Peterborough in 2014 and came out firing at the City Ground - scoring 15 goals in 32 appearances.
But he is now closing in on his return to first-team football and interim boss Paul Williams confirmed after the game today that Assombalonga is likely to play for the under-21s during the international break.
Williams told BBC Nottingham Sport:
"Two thirds of the pitch are really good, but we need to get end product. Britt will hopefully get a Under-21 game during the international break."
Williams also spoke about the loan market. The emergency window closes next week and Forest can bring in a new face before then.
However, with Assombalonga and Henri Lansbury both closing in on a return to action Williams also told the BBC he is unlikely to bring in a fresh face:
"I've not really thought about it. We've got Britt coming back and Henri Lansbury. They'll be new signings for us anyway. So in terms of bringing anyone in, I don't think I really want to."
Forest are looking like plodding toward the end of the season. However the return of Assombalonga will hopefully add some excitement to the conclusion of yet another fruitless campaign.