Midfield pair expected to return to the fold for Sunday's game at Wigan Athletic.

Derby County’s midfield duo Kalifa Cisse and Jeff Hendrick are expected to return to training this week after missing the 1-0 win at AFC Bournemouth at the weekend.

Mali international Cisse was forced to sit out the game due to an infected toe while Academy product Hendrick was ruled out after picking up a virus at the back end of the week, denying him an immediate return to action after three months out with an ankle injury.

First Team Coach Paul Simpson is hopeful that the duo will resume training this week and be in contention to return to the squad for Sunday’s game at Wigan Athletic.

Simpson says their returns will further boost the squad ahead of what is set to be a busy month on the pitch.

He told Rams Player: “Since the Sheffield Wednesday game Kalifa has had a really bad infection in one of his toes that has been an absolute nightmare to get rid of to be honest.

“He’s had to spend a few days in hospital on an IV drip getting antibiotics into his system and we were fortunate John Eustace was available after suspension to slot into that defensive midfield role again.

“We think he’s over the worst of it now and that he will be back in training this week in the lead-up to the Wigan game on Sunday.

“The same goes for Jeff too; he reported in with a virus on Friday morning so he was sent home, also with antibiotics, and all being well he’ll be fine and will take part in the Under 21 game on Tuesday against Hull City.

“It was unfortunate timing for Jeff but it was only one more game he’s missed and he should be available for the Wigan game.”

Simpson admitted their absences had been unexpected when the preparations began for the game against Eddie Howe’s side, but says the Rams injury problems are beginning to ease.

“They were two players that going into the international break we expected to have available at Bournemouth but it wasn’t to be,” he said.

“In their absence the players produced another good performance and helped us to another win, which is always pleasing when you’ve got a few players ruled out.

“We’re beginning to have options again and the injuries are clearing up.

“Johnny Russell and Ben Davies are fit again, Mark O’Brien, James Bailey and Adam Legzdins are nearly there and that’ll make such a difference to the squad.”

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