Derby County manager Wayne Rooney has confirmed that Graeme Shinnie will miss the club’s upcoming clash with Reading.
The midfielder recently contracted Covid-19 and has been sidelined for Derby’s two most recent Championship fixtures.
In Shinnie’s absence, the Rams have managed to extend their winning run in the second-tier to three games.
Derby backed up their 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion by sealing all three points in their showdown with Stoke City last night.
Luke Plange opened the scoring for the Rams in the first-half as he fired past Potters goalkeeper Adam Davies.
Following the break, Stoke levelled proceedings via a strike from former Derby winger Tom Lawrence.
Colin Kazim-Richards then netted what turned out to be the winning goal at the bet365 Stadium in the 85th minute.
As a result of this victory, Derby moved to within 11 points of safety in the Championship.
Set to face Reading on Monday, the Rams will be determined to produce another eye-catching display in this particular fixture.
However, they will be unable to call upon the services of Shinnie for this fixture as Rooney confirmed that the midfielder will be given time to make a full recovery from Covid-19.
Speaking to the Derby Telegraph about Shinnie, Rooney said: “He won’t be available for Monday either.
“We will give him a bit of time to get back and get back to full fitness.
“The players’ health is the most important thing.
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“If any player needs time, I’ll give them that time.
“He has been off with Covid and he has had the symptoms, and we are going to give him some time to get over it and get right.”
It is hard to disagree with Rooney’s stance regarding Shinnie as the club cannot really afford to rush him back into action.
Providing that the Rams are able to pick up a positive result at the Select Car Leasing Stadium on Monday, they could put themselves in a position where they are able to launch a push for survival in the coming months.
When you consider that Shinnie has been a key player for Derby this season, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if he helps the club place their rivals under a great deal of pressure by delivering the goods on a consistent basis at this level.
Currently averaging the second-highest WhoScored match rating (6.92) at Pride Park in this particular division, the midfielder’s ability to maintain his fitness could play a significant role in Derby’s fate in 2022.