Derby County nursing their walking wounded
DERBY County will look to ease a number of their walking wounded players through this week ahead of Friday's game against high-riding Hull City.
Will Hughes (ankle), Craig Bryson (knee), Gareth Roberts (calf) and Conor Sammon (calf) all finished Saturday's victory over Bristol City in some discomfort.
So did defender Mark O'Brien, who made his first start in more than a year.
The 20-year-old came off with cramp but he also felt unwell and missed training yesterday.
"Mark felt he was coming down with something on Saturday," said manager Nigel Clough.
"He felt weak at half-time and that was without his cramp!
"We'll have to be careful with him this week and towards Friday."
James O'Connor can fill in at centre-back for O'Brien and that is one of the reasons why O'Connor did not play in the under-21s' 3-0 win against Sheffield Wednesday at Moor Farm yesterday.
Derby will also look to recall central defender Valentin Gjokaj from his loan spell at Carlisle United.
Gjokaj's month-long stay is up this week and the 19-year-old has made only one appearance as a substitute during his time at Carlisle.
Bryson was replaced after 67 minutes of the game at Bristol and Clough admits there is concern over the Scot's knee problem.
"We didn't substitute Craig because we felt we were comfortable and the game was over at 2-0, it was because he said his knee was too sore," said Clough.
"When he initially did it, the physio said it could be anywhere between two to six weeks. So he will just have to get through the best he can but with three games in nine days coming up, it is going to be difficult.
"We will ease him through this week. He will not train Tuesday and he might do a little bit on Thursday but there is always that risk when you do train of opening the knee up again.
"So it is about getting the balance. He has got to do something but have as little contact as possible."