Derby skipper Shaun Barker has received some welcome news in his long recovery from a serious knee injury.
The defender sustained a dislocated kneecap, ruptured medial ligaments, anterior cruciate ligaments and posterior cruciate ligaments as well as suffering lateral damage during County's 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest in March.
Barker's long-term recovery programme has already ruled him out for the entire forthcoming campaign, but being given the all-clear to walk without crutches and the green light to drive again has handed the 29-year-old a boost.
"I'm off my crutches now but I'm still moving around quite slowly," he told the club's official website. "I've got independence back now after a few months and although my progress is slow, it's going well.
"I can drive again now and little steps along the way like that give me a massive boost because I don't think people realise how tough it is being on crutches for three months."
He continued: "I understand it's going to be a slow process because my knee has basically been rebuilt due to how much damage there was in there. When I can get down to the serious hard work, that's when I'll enjoy myself again and get back to putting a real shift in because right now I can't do too much."