Frustrated boss unsure when Derby County striker Jamie Ward will be back
NIGEL Clough says Jamie Ward's lengthy absence with hamstring trouble is frustrating and the Derby County manager admits he is not sure when the striker will return to action.
Ward has been out for 10 weeks since he limped off during the victory over Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on September 30.
He will miss a 13th consecutive Championship match when Leeds United visit Pride Park Stadium on Saturday.
Ward's damaged hamstring is being scanned regularly, said Clough.
"Until the scans are clear we cannot proceed and step up Jamie's work," added the Rams boss.
"The hamstring has got to be 100% right before we can get him going again.
"It is just time and patience with him.
"Of course it is a concern the length of time he has been out, because we initially thought it was a strain and it would be four to six weeks.
"It is going to be something like three months in the end.
"That might probably be down to his history of hamstring problems.
"Have we any idea when he will be back? No, not yet."
Clough admits Ward's injury is frustrating for everybody.
"It is a huge frustration for him – and for us," said Clough.
"Jamie is the sort of player who can get you a goal when you need one most, like at Leicester last Saturday.
"We controlled the game for periods at 2-1 down. In those situations, you look at who can get you a goal – and he is one who can.
"Yes, his injury gets him down but all he has to do is glance at who is on the next bed in the treatment room, Shaun Barker, and there are always people worse off."
Barker suffered a knee injury playing against Nottingham Forest nine months ago and he has been ruled out for the whole of this season.