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Barker hit by injury setback


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BIG summer signing Shaun Barker will miss today's final first-team friendly of pre-season against Stoke City and is doubtful for the opening Championship fixture at home to Peterborough United.

The £900,000 signing from Blackpool has a slight thigh strain.

And the 26-year-old centre-back (pictured) is one of a number of players who will sit out the visit of Premier League club Stoke to Pride Park Stadium this afternoon (1pm).

Lee Croft (knee), Rob Hulse (groin), Chris Porter (hip) and Dean Leacock (groin) are also sidelined while Kris Commons will be on the substitutes' bench.

Commons is easing his way back to full fitness after hamstring trouble.

He played half an hour against Notts County on Tuesday and 55 minutes at Burton on Thursday.

"We have four or five lads missing and I am not too sure how many of them will have a chance for the opening game against Peterborough," said manager Nigel Clough.

"It is always a bit worrying when they don't make the game a week before the start of the season.

"Ideally, we would have liked them all fit and out there against Stoke but we will go with the players available."

On Barker, Clough said: "His injury is a worry with a week to go because he joined us late into pre-season so he didn't get the initial work we did under his belt.

"He has got a slight thigh strain at the moment and we'll see how he is for Peterborough but I'll say he is a doubt at the moment.

"He needed some games under his belt and he was improving in the games we did see him in but it's just this little niggle that is keeping him out.

"Ironically, I think he missed the first two games of last season with exactly the same injury and was ever-present from that point.

"Hopefully he will only miss one or two games at the most and then be back again."

Clough is pleased to see Commons back in action.

"Getting back on the pitch, even the 55 minutes at Burton on Thursday, will do him good and he will come on for some part of the game against Stoke," said Clough.

"He is just building his fitness up. I would say he is a week to 10 days behind the rest of the squad but he can soon catch that up."

Hulse will not play before the Peterborough game and it is unlikely Leacock will feature ahead of the opener.

"Rob's on course to be on the bench against Peterborough," said Clough.

"Dean has had an injection and will be kicking the ball by the middle of next week. We don't think he will be ready for Tuesday's game at Solihull."

Clough has again admitted that Porter's nagging hip injury is a worry.

"He is seeing another specialist and we will see what comes of that," said Clough.

"Six days ago he was absolutely fine. He played against Exeter City, did not feel anything and the only reason we brought him off was as a precaution because it was his first 60 minutes for a while.

"Then by Monday or Tuesday it was sore again.

"I don't know if it is a case where we might have to play him in one of every two or three games while it settles down.

"It is worrying in the fact it has carried over from last season and it is obviously bothering him.

"We are just in the hands of the medical people.

"Chris wants to play and it might be a case of getting him out there early on in the season and seeing how it goes from there."


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Originally posted by JoeMadRam;26131

If Derby have always been fighting a gypsy curse, we've done pretty well to win two League titles and get to the semi finals of the European Cup.

I don't think there is a gypsy curse though, we haven't made Freddie Eastwood angry yet.

I might have upset some at the Horse Fair in June.

But that of course is nowhere near Derby.

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