New Derby County signing George Thorne has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and may be out for up to 9 months, it has been revealed.

Thorne, who was previously sidelined for 9 months with the same injury to the opposite knee while at previous club West Bromwich Albion, sustained the injury in his first game since signing permanently for the Rams in a friendly against Zenit St Petersburg.

The news deals a huge psychological blow to Derby, who had spent much of the Summer chasing Thorne’s signature after a successful loan spell.

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“It’s a huge disappointment for George personally” said Rams coach Steve Mclaren. “But he’s still young, he’s got to stay positive and he’ll be back.”

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Luke is a Derby County fan currently working as a Team Leader for a health care company. He is a freelance football and film writer and fills the headless chicken role for his 5-a-side team.