Stephen Pearson could return for Derby when fellow strugglers Reading visit Pride Park.

The midfielder missed the defeat at Swansea with a groin injury but it is hoped he will resume training on Friday to put himself back in contention.

Pearson's return would be timely after Bryan Hughes returned to Hull this week following the end of his month-long loan deal.

Paul Connolly sustained a hip injury playing for the reserves on Tuesday. The right-back would have missed out through suspension after he was booked for the fifth time this season against Swansea but he is expected to be fit to face West Brom next weekend.

Fellow defenders Jay McEveley and Miles Addison and midfielders Lee Croft and Lee Hendrie come into the reckoning after featuring for the reserves, as does DJ Campbell after the striker joined the Rams on loan from midlands rivals Leicester.

Goalkeeper Saul Deeney could also return to the bench against West Brom after scans revealed his ankle injury was not as bad as initially feared, while forwards Kris Commons and Steve Davies are both about two weeks away from a return following hamstring problems.

Reading manager Brendan Rodgers could have Shane Long and Chris Armstrong back in his squad for the trip.

The duo played 90 minutes for the reserves in a 2-1 win over Bristol Rovers in midweek to put themselves in contention.

Striker Long missed the 2-1 win over Blackpool last weekend with an ankle injury which also ruled him out of the Republic of Ireland's play-off with France, while left-back Armstrong has not played in the league at all this season after undergoing knee surgery in the summer.

Noel Hunt remains out for the foreseeable future with a knee problem but Simon Church should be fit despite injuring his hip last weekend.

Grzegorz Rasiak scored the goal which gave Reading their first home win since January last Saturday and is pushing for a start at Pride Park - where he scored 19 goals in 2004/05.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
#Leicester City
#Jay McEveley
#Saul Deeney
#Bristol Rovers
#West Bromwich Albion
#Reading
#Bryan Hughes
#Football
#Kris Commons
#Championship
#Grzegorz Rasiak
#Stephen Pearson
#Lee Croft
#Lee Hendrie
#Derby County
#Paul Connolly
#Steve Davies
#Shane Long
#Chris Armstrong
#Miles Addison
#Simon Church
#DJ Campbell
#Bryan Hughes
#Hull City
#Blackpool
#Swansea City
#Noel Hunt