Republic of Ireland defender Richard Keogh is facing up to 15 months out of action after suffering a serious knee injury in a car accident last week.

The centre half was a backseat passenger in a car being driven by his Derby County team mate Tom Lawrence. Another Rams player Mason Bennett also crashed the car he was driving in the same incident and both drivers have been charged with drink driving.

The 33-year-old's career is now in serious doubt, according to the Daily Mail, who report that scans show two ruptured ligaments that will keep him out until late 2020 or even early 2021.

Speaking at the weekend, Derby manager Philip Cocu said: "I've spoken to him. He was here [at the training ground] for a short moment and I spoke briefly to him because there's a lot going on.

"He's extremely down, of course, because he realises what's going on for him personally and of course as a responsible player, as captain, to not be part of the team any more does something to you. I think he feels responsible, yeah.

"The more senior players always have to step up and take responsibility and it's now had a huge effect on him personally. It's a lot to deal with for him."

Derby issued a hard-hitting statement in the wake of Tuesday's accident, in which club captain Keogh was the only player they named.

They explained that a number of players declined offers of a lift home in club-provided cars following a team-bonding day.

They said: "A small group, including the team captain Richard Keogh, continued drinking into the night. They should have known when to stop and also ignored the opportunity to be driven home using cars laid on by the club, and chose to stay out."