Derby captain Richard Keogh could be out for more than a year after suffering a serious leg injury in a car crash that led to the arrest of two of his team-mates.
The Championship club has not revealed the full extent of Keogh’s injury but the PA news agency understands the 33-year-old central defender has damaged his anterior cruciate ligament as well as other ligaments in his knee.
Reports on Monday suggested Keogh could be looking at 15 months on the sidelines, meaning he would not play again until December 2020.
That would take the Republic of Ireland international into the final few months of the three-and-a-half year contract he signed in February 2018, which runs to the summer of 2021.
Keogh sustained his injuries in an incident which saw Derby players Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett charged with drink-driving in the Allestree area of the city on September 24. The club initially said that Keogh had been hurt in an “alcohol-related incident”.
The crash followed a team-building dinner, and Derby have said there will be a “rigorous internal investigation”.
Lawrence and Bennett were both left out of the squad for Saturday’s 3-2 win over Birmingham.