Writer: Peter Simcox
Date:Tuesday January 22 2008
Pearson ready for Rams return
Rams Scottish international midfielder Stephen Pearson is ready to play through the pain to help keep Derby County's season alive.
The 25-year-old is back in the squad for tonight's FA Cup clash against Sheffield Wednesday four weeks after dislocating his shoulder in the Boxing Day defeat by Liverpool, and the midfielder could have a pain-killing injection ahead of the third round replay at Hillsborough.
"I trained twice last week and yesterday. I'm in the squad and looking forward to the game," said Pearson who has missed five matches.
"The shoulder is still a bit sore and I'm a bit ahead of schedule. I will probably need a jab to play but I'm ready if the manager picks me."
The injury came in friendly fire, with Pearson collided with team-mate Darren Moore in the Liverpool game.
"I knew straight away that I had done some damage," he recalled.
"I tried to get up off my shoulder but it was numb. I knew something was wrong but I wasn't sure about the extent of the injury.
"What will I do if I see Darren running towards me again? I'll run the other way. He's a big lad and the last person I wanted to collide with.
"I was disappointed to miss a lot of games over the Christmas and New Year period. It makes me hungry for games and I'll be looking to make up for lost time.
"It's great to be involved again and it is a chance for us to progress to the next round of the FA Cup."
With the league campaign struggling Rams boss Paul Jewell has called on his players to keep the season alive by beating Wednesday and booking a home fourth round tie with Preston.
"The Cup might be our shining light," he said.
"If we could beat Wednesday and have a decent cup run it would give everybody a lift.
"I want to see us restore some pride, whether it is in the FA Cup, the league or both.
"The Cup could be a ray of hope and we certainly don't want the season to fizzle out.
"We are taking 4,000 fans to Hillsborough and the support at Portsmouth at the weekend was unbelievable. They have been the one shining light.
"They deserve better and I'm really frustrated for them as well as for myself.
Date:Tuesday January 22 2008
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