DERBY County have their fingers crossed midfielder Will Hughes will be fit to face Reading on Saturday as the Rams go in search of their first home league win of the season.
A groin and pelvis problem forced the 18-year-old off after 50 minutes of Tuesday’s draw against Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium.
The injury, the club say, is a reaction to the heavy challenge Hughes received in the thumping win at Millwall at the weekend.
He was caught by Shane Lowry’s high boot, a challenge that brought the Millwall left back a red card.
Hughes warmed down with the rest of the Rams squad yesterday and manager Nigel Clough said: “Will’s not too bad. He has got a chance for Saturday, we will wait and see how he is.
“We think the problem is related to him being caught on the hip and groin at Millwall.
“He felt it in the warm up before the Bolton game. We didn’t think it was serious and that was the case because he managed to get through the first half.
“His pelvis was a bit out of joint and probably stiffened up during the 15 minutes of half time.
“He tried it for a few minutes at the start of the second half before he came off.
“We’ll work on him for Saturday.”
Jamie Ward, who struggles with a hamstring complaint, is expected to face Reading at Pride Park Stadium for what will be his third start for the Rams in eight days and his fifth in 16 days having played twice for Northern Ireland.
“Jamie is learning about how he feels,” said Clough. “If he is tightening up and tired, as happened at Bolton, he comes off which he did after 79 minutes.
“He is fine.”