Derby County manager Nigel Clough says he is encouraged by the progress Shaun Barker is making after knee surgery.
Rams skipper Barker dislocated his right kneecap and also suffered ligament damage against Nottingham Forest in mid-March and is likely to miss the whole of next season.
Clough told BBC Radio Derby: "His knee has a bit of movement. He's coming on. It's lovely to see small steps.
"This time next year, going into pre-season, we hope he won't be far off."