Derby midfielder Paul Green has been ruled out for up to nine months with a serious knee injury.
The Republic of Ireland international was injured during Saturday's 4-1 defeat at Cardiff and was given the bad news when he visited a specialist on Tuesday.
Green has damaged cruciate and medial ligaments in his right knee and will undergo surgery in a month before embarking upon a lengthy rehabilitation process.
The former Doncaster man's absence will be a major blow over the run-in with the Rams still not safe from relegation.
Green, who turns 28 on Sunday, has started 36 of Derby's 39 league games this season.
Left-back Gareth Roberts was also stretchered off at the weekend but his knee injury is not as bad as first feared and will only rule him out for the next two matches.
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