The Rams head into this weeks opening pre-season games without 18-year-old Giles Barnes, and the injury he sustained in the Championship play-off final victory over West Bromwich Albion at Wembley, has not responded to treatment and he will most certainly miss the opening few games in the premier league which is a blow for the youngster.
But for the talented player, who has been a constant target in the media of Tottenham Hotspur it`s a bitter blow and manager Billy Davies says Barnes’ foot will remain immobilised until the beginning of August and this will give the youngster little time to recover for the opening game against Portsmouth at Pride Park Stadium on August 11.
It`s also a blow the Rams as they prepare for life in the top flight, and Davies believes he will also be doubtful for the trips to Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, although Barnes is usually a quick healer as he proved by appearing at Wembley, only weeks after a knee injury had looked like bringing his season to an end.
‘Giles has been told he must rest for two or three more weeks and then he will have another scan. The injury has not healed as quickly as would have liked,’ said Davies.
The Rams beat Ilkeston Town 5-1 yesterday, and a Derby XI drew 1-1 with Stamford Rangers, and today the first team squad fly to Italy to continue their pre-season. They will spend six days at a training camp in Bardolino, about 15 miles from Verona.
Davies has picked the squad for the trip, and young right-back Jason Beardsley will be on the plane after impressing this week.
Beardsley, who turned 18 on Thursday, is from Uttoxeter and a product of the Academy. He has signed a two-year professional deal.
‘Jason has come into the first-team squad and has shown a fantastic attitude in training. He is doing very well and he thoroughly deserves to be going to Italy,’ said Davies.
The Rams first game is against Swiss Second Division club FC Chiasso on Tuesday. Chiasso finished fourth behind champions Neuchatel Xamax last season and are building up to their new season which starts later this month.
‘The pre-season games are about building fitness levels,’ said Davies.
‘We’ve been doing a lot of work on the training ground and there have been one or two moans from the lads, as you can imagine during pre-season training, but that’s when you know players are enjoying themselves.’