DISASTER has struck after Derby County's latest signing George Thorne has been ruled out for up to nine months.
Just hours ago, the club was playing down the injury Thorne received during a friendly against Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday night and limped off after 34 minutes.
Thorne was undergoing surgery in London this afternoon to repair a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
At first, it was thought not to be too serious an injury and he had only jarred his knee.
The 21-year-old midfielder had a scan on Wednesday which proved inconclusive and so he left the club's training base in Austria and flew from Vienna to Heathrow before having another scan in Brentford, and the full extent of the damage was revealed.
Thorne completed his £2m-plus transfer from West Bromwich Albion less than a week ago.
Rams' President & Chief Executive Sam Rush said: “We’re disappointed for George and the news is extremely unfortunate.
“He will have all the support he needs from the club and he will receive the best possible treatment to ensure he makes a full recovery."