Leandro Bacuna: Curacao midfielder's late Cardiff return 'scandalous' says Warnock

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Neil Warnock: Cardiff boss on injuries and missing player Leandro Bacuna

Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock says Leandro Bacuna's late return from international duty is "scandalous".

The Bluebirds go to Derby County in the Championship on Friday but Bacuna will play no part in their preparations.

Cardiff hope the midfielder will meet them in the Midlands on Thursday having played twice for Curacao.

"Leo is not even flying back until this afternoon. It's scandalous really how countries can get away with things like that," Warnock said.

"I know we have got to do it for television because of the finance, but (playing on) Friday night after an international break doesn't help us when they are going all over the world.

"You need a manager like (Wales boss) Ryan Giggs who says he is not going to play (Derby forward Tom) Lawrence in a friendly on Monday because he has got a big game on the Friday.

"Unfortunately that's against us. We need a manager like him with all our players. It's not been easy at all - it's been horrendous really."

Bacuna, a January signing from Reading, has played in all but one of Cardiff's league games so far this season.

Warnock says he does not know whether the 28-year-old will start at Derby after a hectic week which saw him play two full games against Haiti in the Concacaf Nations League.

"We were hoping he'd be back yesterday (Wednesday) but it didn't seem possible," Warnock added.

"He's been liaising with the club. We've wanted to get him here as quickly as possible, so if it meant us buying the ticket then so be it.

"We understand the situation of some of the international countries and it can be difficult financially.

"But we don't expect them to come back just over 24 hours before a game. That's a bit over the top really."

Cardiff midfielder Leandro Bacuna has played 28 times for Curacao and scored 11 goals
Cardiff midfielder Leandro Bacuna has played 28 times for Curacao and scored 11 goals

Warnock says his plans for Derby have been further upset by a number of injuries suffered on the training ground - Jazz Richards (ankle) is among them - while Junior Hoilett could miss the Rams clash because of a family issue.

There is some good news from the treatment room, with Neil Etheridge, Sol Bamba and Marlon Pack all close to returning, but Matt Connolly has had to have another operation on a long-standing ankle problem.

"Bamba is training fully with us but it is two months in front of where we thought he would be," Warnock said.

"We think he should have another intensive week next week and then hopefully he could have a game the following week.

"Etheridge has trained this week - he is nearly there - and Pack is doing well as well."

Warnock says the prospect of Pack coming back into contention means he is no longer looking to add a free-agent midfielder to his squad.

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