Derby County news: Wayne Rooney offers update on future of Rams ace

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Derby County will be determined to get back to winning ways in the Championship tomorrow when they face Blackburn Rovers.

Despite picking up a victory over Luton Town earlier this month, back-to-back defeats to Reading and Norwich City has resulted in the Rams being dragged into a relegation dogfight by fellow strugglers Rotherham United.

Now only four points clear of the Millers following Paul Warne's side's triumph over Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday, Derby know that they simply have to pick up a positive result at Ewood Park on Friday.

However, manager Wayne Rooney will be unable to call upon forward Lee Gregory for this fixture as he is set to miss the rest of the season due to a hamstring injury.

The forward, who joined Derby on loan from Stoke City earlier this year, scored in his two most recent appearances for the club before being forced to watch on from the sidelines.

Making reference to Gregory, Rooney has admitted that he has been delighted with his performances and that the Rams will make a decision on whether to sign him permanently at the end of the season.

Speaking to the Derby Telegraph about the 32-year-old, the Rams boss said: "Lee [Gregory] will be out for the remainder of the season.

"It is a blow because he was in good form.

"We will miss him.

"He'll do his rehab and we will help him get back fit, and obviously make a decision on Lee at the end of the season.

"I think he has been fantastic - attitude, energy, hunger.

"He's very good inside the six-yard box, his anticipation to get himself in the right position to score goals is very good."

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With Gregory set to miss the remainder of the campaign, Derby will have to turn to the likes of Colin Kazim-Richards and Martyn Waghorn for inspiration in their quest to achieve survival in the Championship.

Whilst Kazim-Richards is the Rams' top-scorer this season, Waghorn has only managed to find the back of the net on three occasions and thus will need to step up his performance levels in the coming weeks.

Directly involved in four goals in 11 appearances, Gregory's vast amount of experience at Championship level could benefit Derby next season if they avoid relegation and opt to sign him.

Having played 183 games in this particular division in his career, the former Millwall man knows exactly what it takes to compete and thus would be a valuable permanent addition to the Rams' squad.

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