Derby County midfielder George Thorne is set for a spell on the sidelines after he suffered an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
The 21-year-old, who joined Derby on a permanent basis from Premier League West Bromwich Albion last weekend, sustained the injury in Tuesday’s pre-season friendly defeat to Zenit St Petersburg in Austria.
He flew back to the UK from Derby’s training camp on Wednesday to undergo a series of scans.
Thorne will today undergo surgery on his knee and has been ruled out for up to nine months.
Head Coach Steve McClaren said: “At the time it looked to be innocuous as there was no-one near George and we thought he had just jarred his knee.
“Scans have revealed that he has ruptured his cruciate ligament and he will be operated on today.
“It is a huge disappointment for George personally and we wish him a speedy recovery.
“We were patient in our quest to sign him this summer, as he was too, and this news demonstrates the pitfalls of football in general.
“Everyone’s thoughts are with George and there is no doubt he will come back from this.”
He added: “It is a blow, as I said, but the team needs to respond and people have to step in, fill in and do the job.
“We are being positive and we will try and get in a position that when George comes back, he can help the team.”
Derby County’s President & Chief Executive Sam Rush commented: “We’re disappointed for George and the news is extremely unfortunate.
“He will have all the support he needs from the Club and he will receive the best possible treatment to ensure he makes a full recovery.
“Steve McClaren has assembled a good, strong and talented squad for the forthcoming season and an unexpected event such as this is something as a club that we will deal with.”