Football - Clough ponders Ward return

Derby are deciding whether to include Jamie Ward in the squad that travel to Brighton.

PA Sport

Ward, who has been struggling with a hamstring injury for the past three months, played for almost an hour in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Tuesday afternoon.

The diminutive forward suffered no ill-effects and trained on Wednesday. He will do so again on Friday, when manager Nigel Clough will make a decision on his inclusion.

"We'll see how he feels and then take a view with regards to him travelling," said the Rams boss. "We do have to take into account it might not be great for him travelling such a long distance on the team coach, but we'll be guided by how he feels."

Clough will definitely be without Craig Bryson, though, as the midfielder continues to struggle with a knee injury.

The Scot has been nursing the problem in recent weeks and has sat out the last three games.

"Craig has not improved as much as we would have hoped," said Clough. "He keeps doing a certain amount of running up to a point where he feels it. He says it is restricting him quite a bit at the moment.

"It was always going to be a two-to-six-week job, his knee, so it might be another week or so."

Forwards Theo Robinson and Nathan Tyson staked their claims for recalls to the starting XI in midweek with two goals apiece in the behind-closed-doors friendly.

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