Derby County manager Wayne Rooney has revealed that forward Sam Baldock was taken off through injury in the Rams’ 1-0 win at home to Reading and he will now be assessed for the weekend.
The Rams were able to secure a second successive victory in front of their home supporters in the Championship on Wednesday night in a game that saw them bounce back from their defeat at Sheffield United last weekend.
It was another battling performance from Derby that underlined the fighting spirit they have within their small squad of players at the moment.
That is helping them to put to one side all of their off-the-field issues and continue pushing to secure important wins in the league.
Baldock was making his seventh league start for the Rams against Reading and whilst he was not able to affect the game in terms of adding goals and assists to his tally, he was able provide an outlet for them upfront.
However, he was taken off at the break with Jack Stretton coming on in his place to lead the line for the Rams in the second half. The young forward did a good job for Derby and played a part in them seeing out their 1-0 win.
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Speaking to Derbyshire Live following the win against Reading, Rooney revealed that Baldock’s withdrawal was down to a tight hamstring injury. While he also suggested that he will have to be assessed now ahead of the weekend to see if he can feature against Swansea City.
He said: “It was just a little bit tight, it was through injury why he came off, it wasn’t a tactical decision.
“We will assess him in the morning and see how he is for Saturday.”
Losing Baldock for any period of time would be a major blow for the rams because he is their only fit and available senior option upfront at the moment.
Baldock has been doing a good job of leading the line for the Rams in the absence of the injured Colin Kazim-Richards and the experienced striker is working tirelessly at times with little service to thrive on in the final third.
Rooney was right to get Baldock off the field as soon as possible if there was any doubt over his condition against Reading.
The Rams can not afford to take any risks over muscle injuries with their key players at the moment considering the size of their squad.
Stretton’s display from the bench will give confidence that even if Baldock is ruled out for a small period with his hamstring issue, the Rams will still have someone capable of leading the line for them in the Championship.