Derby County manager Wayne Rooney has told RamsTV that defender Matt Clarke is doubtful for the upcoming home encounter with Huddersfield Town.
The Rams loanee suffered a hip injury and was replaced last week at Wycombe Wanderers.
Clarke subsequently missed the 2-1 defeat at Watford on Friday night, with on-loan Rangers defender George Edmundson coming in to replace him.
Huddersfield are next for Derby on Tuesday at Pride Park.
And speaking in his pre-match press conference, Rooney says they will review Clarke’s situation in the morning but strongly suggested the game will be too soon for his return.
“Yeah he’s still a bit doubtful. We will give him every chance and see how he is in the morning, but he is still doubtful,” Rooney explained.
Clarke has been an excellent player during his 18 months or so at Derby.
The Brighton and Hove Albion man won Derby’s Player of the Year award last season, while this term he has been a consistent rock at the back.
According to Whoscored, Clarke ranks as the tenth best player and third best central defender in the Championship with an average rating of 7.16 per game.
Clarke’s absence leaves Rooney with a dilemma. Edmundson is the likely candidate to replace him, but Teden Mengi is also an option if Derby set up with a back three.
Andre Wisdom, meanwhile, will retain his place and amid Clarke’s absence there will be more responsibility on the former Liverpool man to organise Derby’s backline.