Add Duane Holmes to the growing list of American internationals out injured.
The Derby County midfielder will miss “several weeks” after suffering an ankle injury in the 29th minute of Saturday’s match against Huddersfield Town. The 25-year-old has been a key part of the Derby County midfield this season with two goals and three assists in 28 Championship appearances, including a run of 21 consecutive league starts through this past weekend.
Derby manager Phillip Cocu lamented the loss of Holmes, who has been excellent this season for the Rams. “Duane Holmes will be out. I think several weeks he will be out,” said Cocu ahead of Friday’s matchup with Fulham. “That is a blow because he was a very important player for us and an important part in our style of football – and he was in great form. To lose a player like that at this stage of the season is something we can’t enjoy. He has shown how important he is, and he can play in different positions.”
Derby sits 13th in the Championship table, but they are in good form having lost just two of their last 10 league games, turning things around from an ugly seven-match winless run through November and December that dropped the club as low as 18th. Holmes was replaced by 28-year-old Scottish international Graeme Shinnie, while 19-year-old Jason Knight could also see an increase in playing time while Holmes recovers.
The loss is also a blow for the U.S. National Team and Gregg Berhalter who would have likely looked to Holmes for a spot in the March squad. The USMNT has friendlies against the Netherlands and Wales in late March, but this injury could see Holmes lose steam in a bid for contention.
Berhalter is sweating the health of a long list of players, including Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams, and Zack Steffen while Paul Arriola, Eric Lichaj, and Michael Bradley have recently gone down with long-term injuries.