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It has been a hectic pre-season for The Rams, who are under an EFL transfer embargo that prevents them from making permanent signings from other teams after they failed to submit their financial account from previous years.
That being said, Rooney's side have been cleared to sign new players after the EFL altered its rules due to exceptional circumstances caused by the club's coronavirus outbreak last season - although they have limited time to make additions.
With just two weeks to go until their Championship opener against Huddersfield, Rooney's side contains nine registered senior players in their depleted squad, two of whom are goalkeepers - and one of those players has reportedly been sidelined for 12 weeks.
Derby midfielder Jason Knight suffered a nasty injury in training when manager Rooney, who has been forced to take part in training because of low numbers, connected with the Republic of Ireland international's ankle.
The Telegraph report that Rooney and Knight went in for a 50/50 challenge during the training session at Derby's training camp at Pennyhill Park, Surrey and the 20-year-old midfielder came out worse in the incident described as an accident.
Rooney spoke about Knight's injury after Derby fielded a weakened side against League Two side Salford on Saturday afternoon, including free agents Ravel Morrison, Sone Aluko and Phil Jagielka, as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat at the Peninsula Stadium.
"Jason will be out for eight to 12 weeks," he confirmed. "He has rocked his ankle, thankfully, he doesn't need surgery but needs the time to make sure he gets his ankle strong again.
"Of course (it is a huge blow), everyone knows what Knighty brings to us, he is a fantastic player, great energy, and he will be a loss, but we have to deal with that."
In his post-match comments after the Salford defeat, Rooney also vowed to not walk away from the Derby job.
He also expressed those behind the scenes need to move quickly if the club want to compete next season.
"It's other people which I can't control who need to make bigger decisions that I do," Rooney told Sky Sports after their 2-1 loss to Salford.
"All I can do is try to bring some dignity and pride back to this club. It is clear that has gone in the last few years and it is my job to bring that back. I need other people to do their job.
"It's not ideal, it has been very difficult not knowing what my squad will be in two weeks' time when the league starts. However we can, we need to get that sorted."
Can Derby survive in the Championship this season?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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