Derby captain out for season with injuries from car crash

DERBY, England (AP) — The captain of second-tier English club Derby will miss the rest of the season because of a serious knee injury sustained in a car crash that led to the arrest of two teammates for drunk driving.

Richard Keogh, a 33-year-old Ireland international, was reportedly in the back seat of a car that crashed into a lamppost late Tuesday. Keogh was among a small group of players, Derby said, who “continued drinking into the night” after a team-building dinner with club staff.

Police have said Derby players Mason Bennett and Tom Lawrence have been charged with drunk driving and are due to appear at a magistrate’s court on Oct. 15.

Derby said the players who stayed out after the dinner will be subjected to a “rigorous internal investigation,” adding that they will pay a “heavy price for their actions” in what the club described as an “alcohol-related incident.”

“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,” Derby said.

Asked if Keogh had potentially sustained a career-ending injury, Derby manager Phillip Cocu told the BBC: “It’s an early stage to say. But if we say he will be out for the rest of season, it’s a really serious injury.”

Cocu, a former Netherlands midfielder, said Keogh was “extremely down.”

“He feels responsible,” Cocu said. “Senior players always have to step up and take responsibility. Now it’s had a huge effect on him personally. It’s a lot to deal with for him.”

Derby is in 18th place in the 24-team League Championship after winning just one of its first eight games.