Derby v Leicester preview

Derby hope to have Jamie Ward and Craig Bryson available for

Saturday evening’s Championship clash with East Midlands rivals

Leicester at Pride Park.

The duo have missed the Rams’ last two matches after sustaining

injuries during the 1-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace at the start

of the month.

Ward, who despite an injury-hit campaign has scored 11 goals

this season, suffered a spasm in his hamstring while Bryson’s

problem was with a groin.

Both players have made progress this week and have been

pencilled in for a return to full training on Friday.

Teenage midfielder Will Hughes (groin), right-back John Brayford

(hamstring) and versatile defender James O’Connor (knee) are still

not ready to return, although O’Connor is due to resume full

training next week.

Leicester will continue to monitor full-backs Paul Konchesky and

Ritchie De Laet and midfielder Matty James ahead of the game.

All three players missed the 1-1 draw with Championship leaders

Cardiff in midweek.

De Laet (ankle) joined the already sidelined Konchesky

(hamstring) and James (knee) in the treatment room after he was

carried off on a stretcher towards the end of Leicester’s 1-0 home

defeat to Sheffield Wednesday last Saturday.

The fit-again Sean St Ledger played his first 90 in five months

at right-back against Cardiff while striker Jeff Schlupp again

deputised for Konchesky at left-back in the Welsh capital.

Manager Nigel Pearson has options should he wish to make any

changes to his starting line-up with defender Zak Whitbread,

wingers Ben Marshall and Anthony Knockaert and strikers Jamie

Vardy, Martyn Waghorn and Harry Kane all pushing for recalls.