Everton striker James Vaughan's loan spell at Derby has been cancelled due to a knee injury.

However, the Championship club hope to have the 21-year-old back at Pride Park in the new year when he has recovered from a cartilage operation.

"We have been fortunate in dealing with Everton on this because they have been extremely flexible and very helpful," Rams chairman of football Adam Pearson told the Derby Evening Telegraph.

"Obviously, for us to be able to come out of the loan without having to pay any money on it and therefore freeing a loan space up for another player while James gets fit is very helpful. It is a fantastic gesture from Everton who, as normal, have handled themselves in a professional way."

Pearson added: "James is very keen to come back here. He enjoyed the experience and the manager saw enough of him in training to know exactly what type of lad he is and what his character is. We think he is a good addition to the team."

Vaughan joined Derby in mid-September but made just two appearances before sustaining the knee injury.

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