Derby v Reading preview
Derby's injury list appears to be waning with a number of players looking to return against Reading.
Last Updated: 27/11/09 12:31pm
Derby's injury list appears to be waning with a number of players coming back into contention for the visit of Reading to Pride Park on Saturday.
The Rams currently lie 19th in the Championship, just two points above the relegation places due, in part, to their horrendous casualty list.
However there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel with some first-team regulars back in training and knocking on the door to be involved on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Reading have seen their unbeaten run of three games, winning two, take them level on points with Nigel Clough's men and easing the pressure somewhat on boss Brendan Rodgers.
Stephen Pearson could return for Derby having missed the defeat at Swansea with a groin injury. The Scot is expected to prove his fitness in training on Friday.
Pearson's return would be timely after Bryan Hughes returned to Hull City this week following the end of his month-long loan deal.
Paul Connolly sustained a hip injury playing for the reserves on Tuesday. The right-back would have missed out through suspension after he was booked for the fifth time this season against Swansea but he is expected to be fit to face West Brom next weekend.
Fellow defenders Jay McEveley and Miles Addison and midfielders Lee Croft and Lee Hendrie come into the reckoning after featuring for the reserves, as does DJ Campbell after the striker joined the Rams on loan from Midlands rivals Leicester.
Goalkeeper Saul Deeney could also return to the bench against West Brom after scans revealed his ankle injury was not as bad as initially feared, while forwards Kris Commons and Steve Davies are both about two weeks away from a return following hamstring problems.
Rodgers could have Shane Long and Chris Armstrong back in his squad for the trip. The duo played 90 minutes for the reserves in a 2-1 win over Bristol Rovers in midweek to put themselves in contention.
Striker Long missed the 2-1 win over Blackpool last weekend with an ankle injury which also ruled him out of the Republic of Ireland's play-off with France, while left-back Armstrong has not played in the league at all this season after undergoing knee surgery in the summer.
Noel Hunt remains out for the foreseeable future with a knee problem but Simon Church should be fit despite injuring his hip last weekend.
Grzegorz Rasiak scored the goal which gave Reading their first home win since January last Saturday and is pushing for a start at Pride Park - where he scored 19 goals in 2004/05.