Derby defender Claude Davis looks set to miss the rest of the season as he requires surgery on a troublesome knee injury.
The Jamaica international was sent to see a specialist this week who confirmed that an operation was the only solution.
And Paul Jewell has revealed how Davis has been playing through the pain barrier in recent weeks in a bid to help the team.
The Rams boss told Sky Sports News: "Claude has been playing on with an injury and I think he deserves credit for that.
"He has come in for a little bit of stick lately which I don't think he would say he didn't deserve.
"In fairness to the lad he has played on in pain and needs an operation on his knee.
"We wish him well, we wish him a speedy recovery, but it is another blow and almost every game I've been involved in it seems one of my defenders gets injured."
Jewell also believes his struggling side have improved in recent weeks, but accepts that there is a long way to go.
The Rams are rooted to the foot of the table and seem destined for an immediate return to the Championship with just nine points from their opening 25 games.
He said: "There's plenty wrong here, but I think in all the games we've shown a gradual improvement.
"Aside from the Preston, Manchester United and Portsmouth games, in the other 10 or 11 we've only lost by one goal.
"It would be very nice to get a win for the supporters, I feel there's improvement, but there's loads of improvement to go yet."