The lengthy break in the EFL Championship season has given injured players a chance to recover and get back to full fitness. Derby County playmaker Duane Holmes is one of many who have taken advantage of the break to get prepared for the remaining matches of the season.
Sunday saw the EFL approve June 20th as the provision restart date for the current season and Holmes could have the chance to end his season on a high note. Rams manager Phillip Cocu gave the diagnosis on Holmes this weekend as the midfielder returned to training with the team.
“It has been positive for Duane and Tom [Huddlestone] so they could work on their rehabilitation, through video and the exercises they had to do,” Cocu said. “They are in good shape and have done the sessions, so they are part of the group now.”
“Of course, they will need some time to get back to the level of the team and get their body on track in football sessions. They have done a lot of individual work, like everyone else, and they are fit.”
Holmes suffered a leg injury in mid-February, missing five matches in all competitions since. He had been recovering from it throughout the break in the league season, but since had to sit and wait for clubs to begin training once again due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 24-year-old has scored three goals and added three assists in 30 appearances in all competitions this season. After joining Derby County in 2018, Holmes has become one of the club’s top playmakers while also jumping into the radar of the U.S. Men’s National Team.
A versatile midfielder who can also play out wide, Holmes has only earned two caps for the USMNT since June 2019. He impressed in a 1-0 friendly loss to Jamaica in D.C. before also appearing in a 3-0 loss to Venezuela in Cincinnati.
Now with the EFL Championship season slated to resume in June, the Rams will look to improve on their current 12th place spot. The club still has nine league matches this season including showdowns with league leaders Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion.