Midfielder Jason Knight was injured in pre-season after a hard tackle by Rams’ boss Rooney left him with an ankle injury – but he insists there are no hard feelings
Last summer saw Derby County attract plenty of headlines, mostly for events off the pitch.
But amid the takeover sagas and threat of points deductions at the troubled Championship club, there was one incident in particular that seemed to gain plenty of attention.
It was when the news filtered out that star Rams’ midfielder Jason Knight had suffered an injury in training – at the hands of manager Wayne Rooney.
Early reports was rather sketchy but it later emerged that a strong tackle from the former England and Man United star, who was making up the numbers in training, had crocked Knight.
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It left the 20-year-old with an ankle injury and he subsequently missed the first seven games of the new season.
Speaking publicly for the first time about the incident to our colleagues at the Irish Mirror, Knight joked: “I hope he was devastated!”
He added: “No, he obviously didn’t mean it. It kept me out for a few weeks and it was something that I had to learn from.
“I haven’t had too many injuries in my career so far but I’ve come past it and feel stronger for it.
“It was just a training ground one, a slip from the gaffer – just a freak accident and thankfully I’m back from it, playing a lot now and doing alright.”
The initial fear was that Knight, who was given the captain’s armband by Rooney in his first game as permanent manager, would be sidelined for as long as three months.
Thankfully his recovery was much swifter and he has missed just two games since returning.
“Everyone knows what the gaffer did in his career but he has been great for me personally on a one-to-one basis,” Knight added.
“He gives me little snippets of information that can help me develop my game and he has been great.
“We’re going through a tough period but he has been great for me and my game and hopefully I can keep developing that and keep performing well for Derby and Ireland.”
On the pitch Derby are in a sticky spell and have not won any of their last seven Championship games.
They went into administration earlier in the season and without that 12-point deduction they would be 20th in the table, as opposed to rock bottom.
The club have appealed that punishment and it emerged on Monday that the appeal has been adjourned. They were due to appear at an independent arbitration panel this week but it has been delayed.
The administrators are hopeful that a deal for a new buyer to purchase the club can be done soon, with American businessman Chris Kirchner the current front-runner.