Shaun Barker: Ex-Derby County defender poised to join Burton Albion

Shaun Barker in action for Derby County
Nigel Clough was Derby County boss when the club signed Shaun Barker from Rotherham in July 2009

Former Derby County defender Shaun Barker will be offered a deal at Burton Albion if he can prove his fitness, says manager Nigel Clough.

Barker, 33, who captained Derby under Clough, has not played competitively since dislocating his knee and rupturing ligaments in March 2012.

He is set to start training with Burton after undergoing minor knee surgery.

"If we have room budget-wise and he is OK, then it is a no-brainer for us," Clough said.

"He is just a good post influence to have around with Championship experience. He is a good person to have around the football club.

"His treatment is going well and he is close to joining back in, so he is one that we haven't ruled out at all."

After taking nearly three years to recover from his horrific knee injury, Barker returned to play for Derby's under-21 side in February 2015, only to be released by the Rams later that year.

He has since been granted a testimonial year by the Championship club and has repeatedly expressed a desire to return to play professionally.

Clough says Barker is still capable of making an impact as a player.

"You want him to contribute on the pitch, but he has a lot more to offer than just on the pitch," Clough said.

"He wants to get out and play. There will be plenty of times this season with five or 10 minutes to go when we will need someone to come on and head the ball in our box.

"I cant think anyone better than him."

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