Hulse pushing for Derby start

Rob Hulse is in contention for a place in Derby's side at Blackpool on Tuesday after making his first appearance of the season at Scunthorpe.

Last Updated: 17/08/09 at 14:21

Hulse: Poised for first start of season

Hulse: Poised for first start of season

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Last term's top scorer came on as a substitute in Saturday's defeat at Glanford Park having missed the start of the campaign recovering from groin surgery.

Hulse is short of match fitness after missing the majority of pre-season and boss Nigel Clough acknowledges he will have to be careful easing the striker back into the reckoning.

"Rob is not 100% yet and it will take him a while to catch up but he has been working extremely hard with the medical staff and is doing everything in his power to make himself available for us," said Clough. "He is an important figure for us but it is important that we don't rush him."

Steve Davies' hamstring strain is not as bad as initially feared and he is showing signs of improvement while Kris Commons is fully fit again after his hamstring troubles.

At the other end of the pitch, summer signing Shaun Barker has recovered from a thigh strain and is in contention against his former club and fellow centre-half Dean Leacock is itching to be involved after being an unused substitute for the last two matches following a groin problem.

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