Derby defender Miles Addison has undergone minor surgery and is expected to play again before the end of 2010.
The operation was to have metal screws removed from his foot that were implanted in March, when he went under the knife to cure a long-standing injury.
Addison was expected to miss the entire season, but the 21-year-old has recovered quickly and made his comeback as a substitute against Portsmouth before coming off the bench again at Ipswich on Tuesday night.
"Miles has a big part to play in the future of Derby County and we can`t wait to have him back full-time," Derby manager Nigel Clough told the club`s official website.
"We`ve had a taste of what it will be like to have him back with us in the last week, and it will be great to have him back in the squad to call upon on a regular basis.
"The operation was always something we prepared for because we were only going to discover how much discomfort Miles would be in once he returned to training and got involved in the day-to-day challenges of training and games."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.