Derby County manager Wayne Rooney has revealed that whilst Ravel Morrison is set to feature for the club in tomorrow’s clash with AFC Bournemouth, forward Jack Stretton will miss this fixture.
Meanwhile, long-term absentee Krystian Bielik could potentially step up his rehabilitation by lining up for the Rams’ Under-23 outfit later this year.
Bielik has been forced to watch on from the sidelines for the entirety of the 2021/22 season after suffering a serious knee injury in February.
Morrison was unavailable for Derby’s clash with Millwall due to suspension but is now set to make his return to action.
Having been sent-off during the Rams’ trip to The Den, Nathan Byrne will miss Saturday’s clash with league leaders Bournemouth.
Stretton, who hasn’t played for Derby’s senior side since their 0-0 draw with Swansea City, will not be included in the club’s match-day squad this weekend.
Currently 18 points adrift of safety, the Rams will need to pick up victories in the Championship on a regular basis if they are to have any chance of achieving survival next year.
Ahead of the club’s meeting with Bournemouth, Rooney has shared an update on Morrison, Stretton and Bielik.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference for this fixture (as cited by Derby’s official Twitter account), the Rams boss said: “Nathan Byrne’s suspended at the weekend but we’ve got Ravel Morrison back.
“Everyone who’s been on international duty is back fit, but Jack Stretton will miss out.
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“We’re hoping Krystian Bielik might have some involvement with the Under 23s by the end of the year.”
WR: "Nathan Byrne's suspended at the weekend but we've got Ravel Morrison back.
"Everyone who's been on international duty is back fit, but Jack Stretton will miss out.
— Derby County (@dcfcofficial) November 19, 2021
Although Derby will be under no illusions about just how difficult it will be to secure a positive result in their clash with Bournemouth, they have delivered some resilient performances at Pride Park this season and thus it wouldn’t be a shock if they opt to take the game to their opponents tomorrow.
Yet to score for the Rams in the Championship during the current term, Morrison will be determined to break this particular duck after featuring for Jamaica during the international break.
As for Stretton, the forward will be hoping to earn a regular spot in Derby’s match-day squad by continuing to impress at Under-23 level as he has already netted six goals in the Premier League 2 Division 1.
With Bielik not set to make his return to senior action until 2022, it will be intriguing to see whether the Rams are able to push on in the Championship in his absence over the Christmas period.