Wayne Rooney’s Derby County will be looking to get back to winning ways after their disappointing 3-0 away defeat to Rotherham in the week.
After their three-match unbeaten run came to an end, the Rams will be hoping for a change of fate this time around when they travel to South Yorkshire to face Barnsley on Saturday afternoon.
County have been hit with several injuries to some key players in recent weeks and First Team Coach, Shay Given gave some updates from the treatment room.
Welsh Midfielder, Tom Lawrence has missed the last nine league games with an ankle problem with his last appearance coming against Stoke City at home in early December.
Given said: “I think he is just frustrated. He’s not a million miles away, but he is still with the physios and still trying to get back up to speed.
I could not tell you exactly when he is due to be back training, but he will strengthen us when he comes back into the squad, he is a quality player and we just hope he is back soon.”
January signing, George Edmundson, joined having only recently had an operation on a hernia and whilst he is still recovering, Given did reveal that the loanee is close to regaining full fitness: “He is not a million miles away from training with the team.
He is out running with the physios and working hard in the gym. Again, I do not know exactly when he will be available, but he is not weeks and weeks away. He has no pain or discomfort, so it is all looking good. “
Earlier in the week, Krystian Bielik was hit with the terrible news that he had suffered his second ACL injury in just over a year and Given acknowledged just how big of a miss he will be: “I think any team would miss that calibre of player.
I think the important thing for Krystian is to get his head around this next operation and think of what he can get back to.
He has come back before and he can be a top player; he will be down and low at the minute, and we must support him as staff and as a team.
Of course, we will miss his physicality. He is 6ft 4in in the middle of the park, but we have to adapt to that, and it is another opportunity for other players to come into that position and show the manager that they are good enough to play.”
19-year-old Jack Stretton’s last appearance was as a 95th-minute substitute in the 2-0 home with over Swansea City back in December but a recurring groin issue meant an operation was the only option but Given admitted he is nearing a return to the matchday squad after he has begun running again.
35-yer-old Curtis Davies is the only other confirmed absentee as he is due to miss the remainder of the season after rupturing his achilles in the 0-0 draw away at Brentford in early December. He has undergone surgery but is a long way from a return.