Derby captain Keogh out for the season after 'alcohol-related incident'

By Sports Desk September 26, 2019

Derby County captain Richard Keogh will miss the rest of the Championship season after sustaining a serious knee injury in what the club described as "an alcohol-related incident".

In an extraordinary statement released on Thursday, Derby confirmed Keogh was hurt after a scheduled team-building dinner with staff on Tuesday.

The club said Keogh and other players "continued drinking into the night" after the meal, having turned down free transportation home. 

Reports suggest Keogh suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in a car accident, although Derby did not confirm those details.

Local police confirmed on Wednesday that Rams players Mason Bennett and Tom Lawrence were charged with drink-driving after they were involved a crash late on Tuesday night.

"The players involved in the incident on Tuesday evening will be subject to a rigorous internal investigation under the club's code of conduct and disciplinary procedures, but over and above any punishment they receive we will be expecting them to become involved with the excellent work the Community Trust does helping the communities we serve," read a statement from Derby. 

"We have been very clear about our attitude towards alcohol and the players know that at certain and specific times of the season they are permitted a drink together as a group in a controlled environment.

"Those involved in Tuesday's incident know they will pay a heavy price for their actions, but also that we will support them with their rehabilitation back into the squad and team."

Phillip Cocu's side have not won in the league since the opening weekend and the Dutchman is already coming under pressure, having taken over a side that reached the play-off final under Frank Lampard's guidance last season. 

Former England captain Wayne Rooney is set to join Derby from MLS side DC United in January, taking up a player-coach role.

Derby's next game is at home to Birmingham City on Saturday.

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