Derby County’s George Evans is set for a lengthy spell out of action with a calf injury.
The 25-year-old sustained the injury in training last week and missed the weekend’s trip to his former club Reading.
After undergoing a scan on his calf, it has been confirmed the midfielder could be out of action for around two months.
Manager Phillip Cocu confirmed the news on Monday afternoon in his pre-match media duties to preview the Boxing Day trip to Wigan Athletic.
Evans has made 13 appearances in all competitions so far this season for the Rams and missed a similar period of time earlier in the campaign after tearing a quad muscle.
“It’s a calf injury and it is a little bit worse than we thought it would be,” Cocu told RamsTV.
“He finished training last Tuesday and there was a little bit of pain but didn’t seem too much.
“After an examination and scans it was not so good news and he will be out for maybe eight to ten weeks.
“This is something we can do without at the moment.”
The news comes at a time when Derby are stretched in midfield owing to injuries.
Tom Huddlestone and Graeme Shinnie are both out with hamstring problems and while they are making good progress, then won’t feature over the festive period.
Defence has been another area where the Rams have seen injuries bite over the course of the season.
Cocu believe the Rams have been unlucky that the majority of the injuries his players have sustained have resulted in lengthy absences.
He said: “Injuries are part of the game but we are a little bit unlucky that they take the players out for three months or more.
“If four, five or even six players are out for a long time then it affects your team.
“At the moment it is hard to try and stick to the same team, more or less, in as many positions as possible to give the players the time to evolve as a team.
“In almost every game we have to adjust, now with the red card of Scott Malone at Reading on Saturday we have to change again at left-back. Max Lowe has been doing very well, but it is another change.”
He added: “That is just the way it is at the moment.”