Derby County manager Wayne Rooney has confirmed that Phil Jagielka, Richard Stearman and Sam Baldock will all be available for selection for the club’s clash with Preston North End on Saturday.
Kamil Jozwiak and Jason Knight will also feature for the Rams after returning from international duty.
Meanwhile, Colin Kazim-Richards could be in contention to make his return to action in Derby’s showdown with Coventry City later this month after missing a considerable chunk of the 2021/22 campaign due to an Achilles injury.
Jagielka was forced to watch on from the sidelines for the Rams’ recent meetings with Reading and Swansea City as a result of an issue with his knee.
Baldock was also a notable absentee in Derby’s showdown with Swansea as he was unavailable for this game due to a hamstring injury.
The Rams could potentially close the gap between them and safety this weekend if they seal all three points at Deepdale.
Currently bottom of the Championship standings, Derby will need to pick up victories on a regular basis if they are to achieve survival this season.
Ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Preston, Rooney has shared an update on the aforementioned players.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference (as cited by the club’s official Twitter account), the Derby boss said: “Stearman, Jags and Sam Baldock are all fine, training and available for Saturday.
“Kamil Jozwiak and Jason Knight have come back from international duty and they’re available for selection.
“There’s an outside chance CKR [Kazim-Richards] could be in contention for Coventry.”
WR: "Stearman, Jags and Sam Baldock are all fine, training and available for Saturday.
"Kamil Jozwiak and Jason Knight have come back from international duty and they're available for selection.
— Derby County (@dcfcofficial) October 14, 2021
This is an encouraging update as Rooney will now be able to select a strong squad for the club’s clash with Preston.
When you consider that the Rams have only lost one of their last five league games, there is no reason why they cannot secure a positive result on their travels this weekend.
Providing that the likes of Jagielka, Knight and Baldock step up to the mark in this fixture, Derby could send out a real signal of intent to the teams who are currently struggling in the Championship by claiming their second away league win of the season.
As for Kazim-Richards, it could be argued that Rooney should be looking to ease the forward back into action when he is fit enough to feature for the Rams.