The 21-year-old has moved to Pride Park on a three-month loan deal from Everton to help ease the Rams' striker problems with Steve Davies (ankle) still out and Chris Porter (hip) and Giles Barnes (Achilles) long-term absentees.
"It is up to us now to decide who we start on Saturday, but I think James will certainly play some part in the game."
Meanwhile, the club have confirmed that Jake Buxton requires a hernia operation. The defender has been experiencing discomfort in his stomach and tests have revealed the problem.
He could be out for up to six weeks - approximately the same amount of time as midfielder Paul Green who has suffered a setback in his recovery from a foot injury.