Injured forward Jamie Ward is likely to remain absent for Derby's next two matches, according to manager Nigel Clough.

Ward has already missed nine games with a torn hamstring and Clough believes it is a "long shot" that the Northern Ireland international will be involved against Birmingham in the televised clash at Pride Park on Saturday evening.

It may also be optimistic to expect the pacy 26-year-old to be ready when Cardiff visit three days later.

"Jamie has hardly done anything at all in terms of joining in training. He has been doing the one-to-one stuff but it will be a risk to play him on Saturday," said Clough. "If he trains [before the end of the week], then we might put him on the bench on Saturday but that is a long shot.

"He's been out seven weeks or so now, so he is going to need a good week's training. But we've got Nathan Tyson, Conor Sammon and Theo Robinson, and Mason Bennett is playing again after injury, so there is no great rush for Jamie to come back.

"Of course we would like him available, but generally in home games we have been creating things and we hope we can get away without Jamie in the next couple of matches - if we have to."