Will Hughes and John Brayford injury fears for Derby County
NIGEL Clough admits the injuries to Will Hughes and John Brayford are cause for concern.
The Derby County pair will remain sidelined for the rest of the month – and likely longer.
Hughes is out with a groin problem and Brayford has a damaged hamstring.
The Rams, who are without a win in eight, have slipped down the Championship.
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They face Leicester City at Pride Park on Saturday before the two-week international break.
Derby return to action at home to Bristol City on Friday, March 29, and then take on Leeds United at Elland Road on Easter Monday, April 1.
It is unlikely that either Hughes or Brayford will feature in any of those games and no date has been set for their return.
Midfielder Hughes, who turns 18 next month, has missed five matches having made 35 consecutive appearances.
Derby are remaining cautious with the youngster.
"We will take a view in the second week of the international break as to what we are going to do with him from there," said manager Nigel Clough.
"He is improving but it is about weighing up the risk of playing him and the further harm it could do."
Hughes' injury also rules him out of possible inclusion in the England Under-21 squad for upcoming matches against Romania and Austria.
England face Romania at Wycombe on March 21 and Austria at Brighton's AMEX Community Stadium on March 25.
Brayford missed the draw at Cardiff, ending his ever-present run in the side, and the defeat by Birmingham City at St Andrew's on Saturday. Clough admits the defender's hamstring problem is a concern.
"It's not looking good for even after the international break," said Clough.
"There will have to be a marked improvement, but hamstrings usually take a good few weeks to mend."