WILL Hughes and Jamie Ward have a chance of being fit for Derby County’s next game, but Simon Dawkins is out for the trip to Middlesborough.
All three missed Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Charlton Athletic.
Hughes (hip flexor) and Ward (hamstring) have sat out the last two matches. Dawkins (groin) has been sidelined for three games.
Derby travel to Middlesbrough on Saturday before taking on Blackpool three days later.
“We hope Ward and Hughes might have a chance for Middlesbrough, Dawkins maybe the week after,” said head coach Steve McClaren, who was delighted with the performance of the 14 players on duty against Charlton.
“We saw again the importance of Conor Sammon coming off the bench and then John Eustace, who steadied the ship when George Thorne tired,” said McClaren.
Thorne kept his place in the team despite Eustace being available following a two-match ban for reaching 10 yellow cards.
Thorne, on loan from West Bromwich Albion, made his third start in eight days after waiting seven weeks for his debut.
McClaren praised the impact made by the 21-year-old midfielder.
“George has come into it in the past week and added something more,” said McClaren.
“Against Charlton, he was tremendous on the ball and his range of passing was excellent, but there was also the work he does for the team.
“He competes, wins his headers and wins his duels.”
Johnny Russell got himself another goal following his wonder striker against Forest.
“Johnny has been very, very unlucky this season with injuries and not getting a run in the team but he has stepped in this week and delivered,” said McClaren.
“When we have not got the likes of Dawkins, Ward and Hughes, it is important people come in, and they have done.”