"It seems to be settling down; the back, although stiff, has had a bit of manipulation and it seems to be better," says Trevor Brooking.
"I have not ruled him out for either game this week - but we will have to see how it progresses in the next 24 to 48 hours."
There is an outside chance of Michael Carrick, with just two games under his belt this season, returning midweek, and Trevor reveals:
"Michael is stepping up his training and again I haven't ruled him out as an option at some stage this week.
"The bench is an outside chance for Wednesday but hopefully he will certainly involved some way or another when we go to Derby."
It is still a case of 'wait and see' for Steve Lomas, though, and Trevor adds:
"Lomy is one of those that you could look on as a possibility after the international break for the Norwich and Burnley games.
"It is getting encouraging, although Rufus is still out for two months so it is the end of November, really."
Young centre half Elliot Ward goes into hospital for an operation on Wednesday, and Trevor says:
"Elliot has had a back problem and it is quite a complex issue - so we want to make sure it is right.
"The person to do that has been away for a month or so so we have had a bit of a waste of a month or so waiting for this date but hopefully, although it will take quite a bit of this season to recover, he can start to catch up.
"But it is a great shame because it will really be a season written off for him."