Date: 6th March 2007 at 7:00am
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Derby County received bad news on the injury front yesterday, with Michael Johnson diagnosed with a torn hamstring, and he could be missing for five to six weeks. He limped off minutes before the break in Friday’s home victory over Colchester United.

There were fears the injury prone defender had suffered knee ligament damage, but the injury is a poorly timed and leaves the Rams short of recognised centre-backs going into their Championship race for promotion.

Rams boss was philosophical on the situation, he said: “On the one hand, we are fortunate it is not a serious knee injury but on the other, we are disappointed that it’s a bad hamstring injury.”

It gives Davies a few headaches going into tonight`s match at Carrow Road against Norwich City (7.45pm). Dean Leacock is back in training but is doubtful for the clash, as Derby look to regain top spot in the Championship, having been overtaken by Birmingham City who beat Cardiff City 1-0 on Sunday at St Andrews.


The options for the Rams coach are Jay McEveley, Marc Edworthy and Tyrone Mears. Edworthy filled the role against Sunderland and Colchester but McEveley could get the nod at Norwich.

Davies said: “We have a number of players who can fill in but we know that Edworthy and Mears are not centre-backs and to be fair we always try to play players in their right position.
“McEveley can play in there and we will look around and see if there are other options elsewhere.”

Davies has not ruled out dipping into the loan market to breach the gap at the back. “If a player is available and is right for Derby County we will have a look,” he added. He also said he is unlikely, at the moment, to recall Lewin Nyatanga from his loan spell at Barnsley.

 

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