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Buxton ready to answer Rams call


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JAKE Buxton could be ready to answer Derby County's call only 10 days after a hernia operation.

Derby might turn to Buxton if Dean Leacock is ruled out of tomorrow's Championship clash against Sheffield Wednesday.

A strained hamstring forced Leacock to limp off during Tuesday's nightmare 6-1 hammering by Cardiff City.

The 25-year-old will be checked on today to see if he can continue his centre-back partnership with Shaun Barker.

Fellow central defender Miles Addison is already out with a foot problem and left-back Jay McEveley had to fill in at Cardiff when Leacock went off.

"Dean is not as bad as we first thought and we will see if he is able to train," said manager Nigel Clough.

"If he cannot, Jake Buxton has an outside chance, only owing to his character.

"Jake had a hernia operation only 10 days ago and normally it would be two to three weeks minimum.

"But the sort of lad he is, if it means bursting the stitches open or whatever, then he will do that."

Clough knows all about Buxton's character and battling qualities after working with the centre-half at Burton Albion.

Buxton started the first five League games of the season and helped the Rams to two victories and a draw.

Derby are hoping to welcome back James Vaughan.

A slight knee injury was the reason he was an unused substitute at Cardiff but the pacey striker on loan from Everton is eyeing a return.

"His knee has settled down and we hope he is going to be OK," said Clough.

"Having him back would be a boost given what we saw from him in last Saturday's victory over Bristol City.

"We wanted to throw two up front against Cardiff the other night but once we lost James' pace, we opted for the three in midfield rather than putting Paul Dickov up there.

"But it wasn't the formation that beat us the other night by any means. It was purely the defending at times."

Miles Addison, Paul Connolly, Paul Green, Stephen Pearson, Steve Davies, Kris Commons, Chris Porter and Giles Barnes remain sidelined by injury.

"We have got a number of good physios who are working not round the clock but close to it to get the players the necessary treatment," said Clough.

Asked why so many players are injured, Clough replied: "We're not sure, because the injuries are quite varied.

"Some are from last season as well, recurrences, and some are fresh injuries.

"Chris Porter and Paul Green have played the last few years with hardly any injuries.

"I don't think it is any one thing we can pinpoint for the reason why there are so many injuries, because the injuries are too different.

"Take Paul Connolly. He injured his foot because he kicked the bottom of somebody's foot in the Bristol City game."

There is a two-week international break after this weekend.

Clough said: "Trying to get people fit will be the priority in that time – we will do everything we can to get three or four more players available for the Leicester City match."


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