Derby captain Shaun Barker says he is pleased with how his rehabilitation is going as he looks to recover from the knee injury which has ruled him out for the entire campaign.

Barker, 30, required surgery after rupturing knee ligaments against Nottingham Forest in March and will not return to the field until the 2013/14 season at the earliest. The defender knows he faces a lengthy battle before he can think about playing again, but admits that the club's medical staff have been encouraged by his progress.

"I met the specialist a few weeks ago and he was extremely happy," Barker told Derby's official website. "At the moment it is steady, but very slow as well. We knew it would be slow to begin with but in all honesty I was surprised at how slow it actually was.

"Progression has been quicker in the last month or two and I hope it continues that way.

"I'd say it's so far, so good and everyone is pleased with the progress, which is good."