Derby are confident Miles Addison will be back in action before the end of the year following further minor surgery.
The 21-year-old, who initially went under the knife in March to cure a long-standing injury, has had metal screws implanted in that procedure removed from his foot.
Addison was initially expected to miss the entire season but has made a speedy recovery to feature in the first team in recent games.
The youngster made his comeback as a substitute against Portsmouth before coming off the bench again at Ipswich on Tuesday night.
Rams manager Nigel Clough knew he would only initially get a glimpse of Addison in action and is now looking forward to his permanent return.
"Miles has a big part to play in the future of Derby County and we can't wait to have him back full-time," he 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."