ROTHERHAM United are refusing to give up hope that defender Clark Robertson will be back in a Millers shirt this season.
The centre-half has been hit by another setback as he bids to come back from a foot injury sustained during his rehabilitation from stomach surgery.
But manager Paul Warne is refusing to rule out the possibility of the 26-year-old Scot returning in time to boost the club's League One promotion prospects.
When the boss was asked if the latest blow meant the player may be out for the rest of the season, the boss replied: "It could do. I don't want to say that. Until we know more I don't want to speculate."
After a date with a specialist a week ago, Robertson - who is wearing a protective boot - is due to consult with a different expert as Rotherham seek an explanation why the healing process is taking longer than expected.
"Robbo went running the other day on one of those anti-gravity treadmills that take your body weight out of it," Warne said. " He was running at 20 per cent of his body weight and was in severe pain, which shouldn't have happened really.
"He's now going to see someone else. We'll keep the boot on him and hopefully we'll get him back soon.
"Initially, he was going to spend ten days in the boot and then weight-bearing would start again. He did that but he was in too much pain.
"It feels like we're back to square one a little bit. We're going to have to investigate it even further, which is disappointing for everybody."
Robertson, a stand-out performer for Rotherham in the Championship last season, hasn't played since December.
There is better news on the injury front for right-back Billy Jones.
The 32-year-old, missing since November with a hamstring tear, joined the main group last Thursday and is close to a return to full training.
Nineteen-year-old striker Josh Kayode has returned from his loan spell at League Two Carlisle United to receive treatment on a hamstring injury and is expected to head back to the Cumbrians in about three weeks.