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Holmes back in Derby County training with season restart approaching

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.



  1. Please stay healthy Duane….I feel like of all the midfielders who are less talked about he could be the one that surprises the most with the NT and as a result will garner more minutes

    • Holmes is one of those players who seems to get injured just before a NT camp. This has made it hard to determine where he is in the CM depth chart, and has made some of us question his reliability.
      Most fans would say that Adams (CDM) & McKennie (8) are inked into the starting XI. That leaves 1 CM (8) spot open. The options for that final starting CM spot are currently:
      Holmes, Roldan (3G’s likely option), Pomykal, Aaronson, Green, Hyndman, Cappis,
      Future Options include:
      Vassilev, Ledezma, Tillman, Mendez, Booth

      While we are lacking in experience we do have some interesting options emerging. Holmes, Roldan, & Green are likely 1 cycle players and will be gone after 2022. The others we would be sacrificing experience with the hopes of potential. With the limited amount of matches remaining to experiment it’s hard to determine which direction to go.

      • I’m still on the fence when it comes to putting Adams and McKennie that high up the field. When you consider that Greg expects those 2 dual 8’s to play like 10’s, I just don’t see them affecting the game in a way that will lead to scoring chances because as of right now both Tyler and Weston aren’t polished enough passers in the final third. I think one of the 2 should be the starting CDM, and I can live with the other as one of the two 8’s but I think we’d need someone with more flair and incisive passing ability filling the other 8 spot! Whether that’s Holmes, Polmykal, Green, Hyndman, Aaronson or even a sleeper like Ledesma.

        A lot of options obviously for those roles but it makes you wonder with all of the unknowns surrounding international play and the inability to get the senior team together much, if at all before wcq, how or if Greg will be able to continue to intergrate new players into the fold

    • Rumored to have been on the list in March, I believe he got injured though even if there had been a camp. He played in every match from Aug. 31- Feb. 15. 28 straight matches starting 25 of them. You can understand why he wasn’t called in Sept. just coming off injury but given how he showed in the Summer would have liked him in Oct. or Nov.
      Lost: I still think 3G is going to play Adams as an 8 alongside McKennie. I think he likes how we’d be able to press on change of possession with those two further up the field. I’m not convinced we will see an international window again in 2021 so all of this might be meaningless because players will have so much time before then.

      • 3G’s preferred formation is basically a 4-1-4-1. If Adams & McKennie are the CM’s in the 4 man midfield that I shudder to think who his preferred CDM is going to be. Bradley doesn’t have the legs….Yueill is an option (I guess), but would not be my choice….Moralez is another option, but never been overly impressed with him either.
        My preference for the CDM roll would be:
        1) Adams, 2) McKennie, 3) Yueill, 4) Bradley/Moralez
        My preference at the CM Roll:
        1) McKennie, 2) Holmes, 3) Pomykal, 4) Toss-Up Green/Aaronson/Hyndman

        But I honestly expect for Roldan & Bradley to be continued inclusions.

      • Having read the article in The Athletic and listened to Allocation Disorder Podcast which interviewed Gregg on the state of the player pool I think it’s McKennie, Adams, and Yueill if we had to play next week. I think he’d back them up with Lleget, Roldan, and Bradley(if he was healthy). That’s likely to change before we play again. September is almost definitely out given clubs going into July and then leagues restarting with CL trying to get in there too. I am skeptical that FIFA would schedule any international windows until a vaccine is ready given in many places players would have to self quarantine upon return home to their club.

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