STEVE McClaren says Derby County have a few injury doubts in defence ahead of tomorrow's Championship opener but is hopeful Jake Buxton will be fit.
However, the Rams' new loan signing from Real Madrid, midfielder Omar Mascarell, is likely to have to wait for his debut.
Buxton missed the final friendly against pre-season against Rangers last Saturday due to a hip-flexor problem.
The central defender did some light training yesterday and head coach McClaren said: "We hope he will be fit. You know Bucko, he will play on one leg for you.
"We have just got to be careful we don't take a chance and lose him for weeks. We have got to make sure he is right and not take too much of a risk."
Another centre-back, Zak Whitbread, looks to have recovered from a cracked rib.
"Zak trained and looks OK, as long as he has no reaction," said McClaren. "Lee Naylor took a little knock the other day and so we have a few doubts in defence we have to cope with."
McClaren has said recent loan signings, Mascarell and striker Leon Best, will not be rushed into action.
On Mascarell, McClaren said: "You never know when you bring a foreign player into this environment, especially a young player, how long it will take him to settle.
"Some settle straight away, some take time, and we will give him time. When we brought in George Thorne last season he had to wait a good 10 games, two or three months before he played.
"He showed incredible patience, got his reward and was ready and made an impact. Omar might have to do the same thing. We have got good midfield players.
"So it is a challenge for him, but we feel we have brought someone in of top quality. He is in shape to play. He has been training with Real Madrid and he toured with them in the United States.
"We have got to assess all that. Same with Leon Best, he has not trained for a couple of weeks. So he is behind. These players will not be rushed, they have to be right."