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Commons targets Barnsley return


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KRIS Commons has pencilled in Derby County's home game against Barnsley for a possible return to action.

The Scottish international was in a rich vein of form and playing some of the best football of his career when injury struck.

A calf problem, the result of a bruising encounter for him against his old club Nottingham Forest, has ruled him out of the last four matches.

But Commons is hoping to be fit to face Barnsley a week on Saturday, before Scotland's important World Cup qualifying double-header against Holland and Iceland.

"I am probably looking at the Barnsley game on March 21 to come back, fingers crossed, if all things go well," he said.

"The Scotland games are on March 28 and April 3 so, hopefully, I can travel to the Scotland training camp and get a bit of physio there if need be and try to train there to give me every chance.

"That would be fantastic but Derby is the main thing."

Commons scored four goals in five games before his injury and speculation surrounding his future is already building, with reports that Premier League clubs Newcastle United and Wigan Athletic are keeping an eye on him.

The 25-year-old enjoyed success playing just behind striker Rob Hulse and he has been frustrated at having the partnership broken up while he recovers from his setback.

"It is frustrating because we had picked up four wins on the bounce, confidence was high, we were playing well and then I got this little niggle, which is disappointing at this time of the season," said Commons.

"I took quite a lot of knocks in the League game against Forest and had a few bruises and few lumps in my calf that were taking their time to go away.

"So I did not train all week and had plenty of physio on it but obviously I needed to train on the Friday morning to see if I was ready for the Doncaster game and I did more damage to the calf.

"I went for a scan and found I had a little tear in it."

Looking back at his form last month, Commons added: "I am feeling as confident as I have ever felt and feel I am playing my best football.

"When you are winning games, playing well and scoring goals, there is nothing better. You feel on top of the world and you just can't wait to get out for the next game.

"I am in a role now where I am more centrally positioned, so I am getting into the box a lot more and having shots from the edge of the box.

"I am not just creating a threat down the left hand side, I am able to drift out to the right and cut inside – like in the Blackpool game.

"It has been working well for us and the big man up front, Rob Hulse, is great to play with. He gets hold of the ball and I have been trying to read his flick-ons."

Commons also points to the injuries to team-mates Miles Addison and Paul Green, who have both been ruled out for the rest of the season, as big blows for Derby.

"We had all been playing well – Nacer Barazite on the right and Gary Teale on the left – we had something really that you thought this team could go a long way," he said.

"If we can stick together next season, then bigger and better things can happen.

"So it was bitterly disappointing for key members of the squad to get injured."

In Commons' absence, the Rams have won one, drawn two and lost one.

Striker Chris Porter came in and scored three goals in two games before getting injured himself and he missed Tuesday night's 1-1 draw at Southampton with a hip problem


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