After avoiding relegation on the final day of the 2020/21 campaign, Derby County have made a mixed start to the new term in the Championship.
Under the guidance of manager Wayne Rooney, the Rams have picked up six points from their opening six league games.
Currently 16th in the Championship standings, Derby will be hoping to deliver a response to their recent 2-0 defeat to Birmingham City when they face West Bromwich Albion tomorrow.
The Rams know that they will need to be at their very best in this fixture if they are to secure a positive result at The Hawthorns against the league leaders.
Ahead of this particular clash, an update has emerged regarding three of Derby’s players who are currently being forced to watch on from the sidelines.
Whilst Krystian Bielik is not set to make his return to action until 2022, Rooney has revealed that the Poland international is making good progress in his rehabilitation from a serious knee injury that he suffered earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Colin Kazim-Richards is currently in line to make a potential return to Derby’s set-up following the next international break in October.
Academy graduate Festy Ebosele is set to take part in full training either at the end of this week or the start of next week after recently picking up a knee injury.
Speaking to the Derby Telegraph ahead of tomorrow’s meeting with West Brom about Bielik, Rooney said: “Krystian is doing very well.
“He is on the grass with the ball at his feet, and he is on track with his injury.
“I am pleased.
“He seems to be in a better place, as well.
“He has been coming to the away games, being around the team, which is great to have him around the other players.”
Making reference to Kazim-Richards, Rooney added: “Colin is out of his [protective] boot and off his crutches now, and doing his recovery work.
“After the next international break we can assess where he is and then it shouldn’t be that long after the international break.”
Speaking about Ebosele, the Derby boss admitted: “He is improving.
“He should be training with us back end of this week or early next week.”
Although Kazim-Richards and Bielik are not set to make their return to the first-team for a considerable amount of time, there is no reason why they cannot play an influential role for Derby when they are fit enough to feature.
Kazim-Richards ended the previous campaign as the Rams’ top-scorer in the Championship as he netted eight goals whilst Bielik averaged a club-high WhoScored match rating of 7.53 at this level.
As for Ebosele, he will be hoping to force his way into Rooney’s plans in the not too distant future.
Whilst the 19-year-old will be determined to make an immediate impact for the Rams, Rooney ought to ease him back into action in order to minimise the risk of another injury setback.