Rams hopeful on duo
Derby hope to have leading scorer Jamie Ward and midfielder Craig Bryson available for Saturday evening's televised clash with East Midlands rivals Leicester at Pride Park.
The duo have missed the Rams' last two matches after sustaining injuries during the 1-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace at the start of the month.
Ward, who despite an injury-hit campaign has scored 11 goals this season, suffered a spasm in his hamstring while Bryson's problem was with a groin.
Both players have made progress this week and have been pencilled in for a return to full training on Friday.
Teenage midfielder Will Hughes (groin), right-back John Brayford (hamstring) and versatile defender James O'Connor (knee) are still not ready to return, although O'Connor is due to resume full training next week.
Leicester will continue to monitor full-backs Paul Konchesky and Ritchie De Laet and midfielder Matty James.
All three players missed the 1-1 draw with Championship leaders Cardiff in midweek.
De Laet (ankle) joined the already sidelined Konchesky (hamstring) and James (knee) in the treatment room after he was carried off on a stretcher towards the end of Leicester's 1-0 home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday last Saturday.
The fit-again Sean St. Ledger played his first 90 in five months at right-back against Cardiff while striker Jeff Schlupp again deputised for Konchesky at left-back in the Welsh capital.
Manager Nigel Pearson has options should he wish to make any changes to his starting line-up with defender Zak Whitbread, wingers Ben Marshall and Anthony Knockaert and strikers Jamie Vardy, Martyn Waghorn and Harry Kane all pushing for recalls.