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George Thorne to return for Derby County against Reading

Derby manager Steve McClaren confirms that George Thorne will play some part against Reading on Saturday.

Derby manager Steve McClaren has confirmed that George Thorne is in contention to make his return to first-team action against Reading on Saturday.

A cruciate ligament injury picked up in pre-season has prevented Thorne from making an appearance for Derby this campaign, but he played 86 minutes for the club's Under-21 side earlier this week.

It was his third game for the youth team, and McClaren claims that he is ready to give the 22-year-old some time on the pitch in the FA Cup fifth-round tie at the iPro Stadium.

"I want George involved either from the start or on the bench, I don't know which. I definitely want him involved, though," McClaren told the club's website.

"He is at the level now; he has worked his way up to playing 90 minutes with three games of Under-21 football. It's important now that we reintroduce him at the right time."

Derby will be without top scorer Chris Martin due to a hamstring injury.

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Thomas Ince of Derby County celebrates with Richard Keogh and Will Hughes as he scores their first and equalising goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between AFC Bournemouth and Derby County at Goldsands Stadium on February 10, 2015
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Thursday's key events

· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
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· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
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· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

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