Derby County youngster Kornell McDonald could be in line for his first start for the club as Wayne Rooney admits to RamsTV his side are down to the bare bones.

Derby face Championship leaders Norwich City at Pride Park on Saturday.

The Rams head into the clash coming off the back of a 3-1 defeat at Reading where both Jack Stretton and Nathan Byrne were forced to come off with injuries.

Stoke City v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images).

Derby were already missing Krystian Bielik, Curtis Davies, George Edmundson, Martyn Waghorn, Matt Clarke and Lee Gregory so the latest injuries will pose an extra dilemma.

Speaking to RamsTV, Rooney admits Derby are up against it.

“The lads who are left are fine. The other lads are all still out. Nathan Byrne obviously took the knock to his head, he’ll be back after the Norwich game. Jack Stretton has a calf injury and will be out. Nobody else has recovered, so we’re down to our bare bones but we’ll be ready. It’s a chance for some players to come into the team and try and stamp a place in the starting eleven,” Rooney explained.

Derby are the only team who have beaten Norwich City at Carrow Road this season.

 

The Rams moved to a back three that day, and it would seem the most sensible system in order to get bodies around top scorer Teemu Pukki and stifle Emiliano Buendia.

Andre Wisdom would naturally replace Byrne on the right, but Edmundson and Clarke’s absence suggests he is the only viable option left to play centrally alongside Teden Mengi.

The situation could see Kornell McDonald come in at right-back or right wingback.

QPR v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo by Federico Maranesi/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images).

The 19-year-old has made six substitute appearances in the Championship this season and came on for Byrne during Derby’s defeat at the Madejski Stadium last time out.

The Rams haven’t been afraid to utilise their academy players with Jason Knight, Max Bird, Louie Sibley and Lee Buchanan now established first-team regulars.

Also see: Prospective new Derby owner shares Rooney meeting; plots lofty ambitions next season

Also see: Prospective new Derby owner outlines recruitment approach similar to Brentford’s lead

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