Midfielder Hughes is on the sidelines at the moment with a knee injury he picked up back in August.
“He is a very talented footballer,” Thorne told the Shoot magazine. ‘He has got the ability to control the game’s tempo and he is a very cultured left-footed player.
“Over the years, he has got more physical about himself. He is a massive loss for us; there is no doubt about that. He would be for any team. He is one of those players that if you give him the ball, you expect him to keep it.
“Those moments of magic that people are seeing, it comes good for us and there is no doubt that we will miss that until he is back out there with us.”
Hughes has been at Derby his entire professional career and has featured in over 100 league matches.
The 20-year-old is one of the most promising young midfielders in the Championship and is also an England Under-21 international.
The youngster scored two goals and created 46 chances in 42 Championship appearances last season.
Hughes had a pass accuracy of 86% and a shot accuracy of 43%, and won 11 headers, 29 dribbles and 74 tackles.
Derby are fifth in the Championship table at the moment with 30 points from 15 matches, a point behind leaders Hull City.
Paul Clement’s side will take on Nottingham Forest away from home at the City Ground in the league tonight.