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Derby County: goalkeeper Lee Grant still sidelined

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 24, 2014

Lee Grant

Lee Grant

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LEE Grant will not return to action during Derby County's tour of Austria, writes Steve Nicholson.

The Rams' number one goalkeeper has been working his way back to fitness following knee surgery at the end of last season.

Grant has yet to appear in the pre-season friendlies.

It had been hoped he would get some match action against Slavija Sarajevo tomorrow night but first-team coach Paul Simpson said Grant would not figure.

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Grant trained yesterday with the other keepers – Kelle Roos, Jonathan Mitchell and Ross Etheridge – under the watchful eye of goalkeeping coach Eric Steele.

Derby's friendly against Burton Albion next week has been pencilled in as the game in which Grant could return.

"Lee is making progress but he will not play on this trip," said Simpson.

"We are expecting him to join in training today (Thursday) and Friday with the rest of the squad.

"Then we are looking to get him involved in the game at Burton, if everything goes to plan."

Grant was ever-present last season and a key figure as the Rams finished third in the Championship.

His absence this summer has handed Kelle Roos the chance to impress and the 22-year-old has taken it.

Roos signed from Nuneaton Town in January and Derby have been pleased with his progress.

"Kelle is developing really well and the way we see it is he will push Lee Grant all the way this season," said Simpson.

"We know we have got real good back up there. Kelle is a big, strong lad and a good goalkeeper.

"We knew Granty was not going to be fit early on in pre-season and so Kelle has come in."

Roos impressed in the 2-0 defeat by Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday night. Their margin of victory would have been greater had it not been for some excellent saves, including one from a penalty.

"Kelle was excellent. He made good saves and his distribution was very good, particularly with his feet," said Simpson.

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