U's sweating on Meades injury

BY foxsports • July 29, 2013

Midfeilder Paul Coutts is expected to be fit for Derby's opening game of the season against Blackburn, according to boss Nigel Clough.

Coutts missed the Rams' final two friendly matches against Burton and West Brom due to a groin complaint, but Clough is confident the midfielder will be able to line up against Rovers when his side get their Sky Bet Championship campaign under way on Sunday.

"He will do some running today (Monday), with a view to training on Tuesday," Clough told reporters following Derby's 2-0 defeat to West Brom on Saturday.

"We are confident he will be available for the Blackburn game, although we were happy with the way the midfield worked against West Brom."

Coutts is not the only Rams player nursing an injury ahead of the big kick-off, with teenage striker Mason Bennett in some discomfort with a suspected cracked rib.

Clough added: "Mason tried to train but felt the injury. Anybody who has had a whack in the ribs will know how painful it is. He might have suffered a cracked rib as well. He is down to train towards the end of the week."

Meades fell to the ground unchallenged during the second half of the U's 1-0 win over the Sky Blues on Saturday and was carried off on a stretcher with his left leg in a brace.

The summer signing was taken straight to hospital for an X-ray, which revealed there was no break, but the club are now awaiting the results of an MRI scan to see if the 21-year-old defender suffered any ligament damage.

"You understand, especially with a brave boy like he is, when they stick their hand up straight away there's a problem," manager Chris Wilder told the Oxford Mail.

"He caught his studs in the turf and just fell awkwardly. No-one was near him and there's no blame on anybody.

"Hopefully it will be okay but it took the gloss off what had been another excellent afternoon for us."