Nigel Clough says he hopes to have Jeff Hendrick available for selection when Derby County’s league campaign gets underway against Sheffield Wednesday at Pride Park Stadium.
The 20-year-old midfielder injured his right wrist during Saturday’s 3-1 pre-season friendly defeat at Chesterfield and was taken to hospital to undergo an x-ray to determine whether or not he had suffered a fracture.
His x-ray results came back clear and a visit to a local specialist on Monday morning revealed he has a soft tissue injury, but will undergo a scan later in the day to confirm the extent.
The Rams’ Young Player of the Year will be getting a splint to wear which, it is hoped, he will be able to train and play in – and he has been withdrawn from the Republic of Ireland under-21 squad for their game against Turkey on Tuesday and will still miss Derby’s Capital One Cup visit of Scunthorpe United.
After initially fearing the worst, Clough says he is relived Hendrick has not suffered serious damage.
He said: “We feared the worst to be honest when he went down like he did and how long he was down for, so we’re pleased he won’t be out for a while and we’re hoping to have him available for the weekend.
“All being well, Jeff will get a splint and he’ll be able to train later in the week with a view to being involved Saturday, but at the moment he is very sore and he won’t be involved against Scunthorpe – which was the case anyway because of his international commitments.”
With Jamie Ward away on international duty with Northern Ireland for the early part of this week, Clough hopes to have midfielder Craig Bryson and left-back Gareth Roberts back from injury to face Scunthorpe tomorrow night, but he expects James O’Connor to miss out.
Bryson (groin) and Roberts (hamstring) sat out last week’s friendly against Sunderland while O’Connor has a thigh injury which has limited him to one outing in a Derby shirt since joining from Doncaster at the start of the month.
“Craig and Gareth should be fine, but James is probably looking more towards the weekend to be honest,” he said.
“It’s difficult with Jamie being away as well, but the absence of Jeff and Jamie gives others a chance to come in and challenge for a first-team place.”