Derby County have suffered a blow with the news James Bailey is expected to be out of action for the next three months.
The midfielder suffered an ankle injury in training almost a fortnight ago and scans have now confirmed the extent of the damage.
The news is a blow to the Rams as the 22-year-old started Derby's opening five games this season and was initially only expected to be sidelined to the end of October.
Derby County physiotherapist Neil Sullivan told the club's official website: "James has a ruptured ligament and a small fracture in his talus bone in his ankle joint.
"He needs to allow the bone to heal for four weeks before he can fully weight bear again, and then he can progress with his rehabilitation work."
Bailey's absence has prompted boss Nigel Clough to target a loan signing to provide cover, with the club linked with Leicester's Matt Oakley.
Bailey received the Young Player of the Year Award last term after joining from Crewe in July 2010.