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By ESPN Staff

Hunt suffers ligament damage in Bolton defeat

Derby 2-0 Bolton

Bolton slipped up at Derby as Billy Davies' side offered evidence of why they could challenge for promotion to the Premiership in the coming season.

Bolton boss Sam Allardyce meanwhile revealed his concern at a leg injury and suspected ligament damage sustained by Nicky Hunt which forced the full-back off just before half-time.

The Rams begin their season against Southampton in eight days' time, on Sunday August 6, and goals from Inigo Idiakez and Giles Barnes mean they should approach that game in good spirits.

Idiakez gave Derby the lead after 30 minutes with a free-kick which arrowed past Jussi Jaaskelainen, and 17-year-old midfield prospect Barnes sealed victory from close range in the 85th minute.

Also of note was a Derby debut for new signing Steve Howard, a £1million capture from Luton who lasted 73 minutes.

Bolton's season does not begin for three weeks, but they are likely to start without Hunt, who Allardyce fears may be absent for a long spell.

'We've had a blow with Nicky Hunt. It looks like it's going to be a medial ligament problem,' Allardyce later told the club's website.

'We'll know more about Nicky's injury in the next 24-48 hours. His injury means we've got quite a few which we could do without.'