Derby have been dealt a huge injury blow with the news that captain Shaun Barker faces a year out with a dislocated knee-cap.
Barker suffered the injury nine days ago towards the end of the east midlands derby against Nottingham Forest at Pride Park.
As well as dislocating his knee-cap, the centre-half has ruptured his medial ligament, anterior cruciate ligament and posterior cruciate ligament in his right leg. The 29-year-old will undergo surgery next week.
"Without any question, this is a hammer blow for Shaun and we are all gutted for him that he is going to be out of action for some time," Derby boss Nigel Clough told the club's official website. "It is obviously hard for Shaun to take right now, but it is important for him to know we are all here for him and he will have the support of everyone at Derby County every step of the way towards full fitness.
"We have one of the best guys in the country, if not the best, operating on Shaun and he has said he will be able to make a full recovery and play at this level again.
"Twelve months is a long time but Shaun's strength of character and determination will see him bounce back. He has been through a gruelling rehabilitation programme before so that will help him."