SHAUN MacDonald has joined the list of Rotherham United long-term injury victims after the club confirmed he has suffered a broken leg.
The midfielder limped out of last weekend's clash at Stoke City and his problem was initially thought to be related to his knee and not be too serious.
However, tests showed a leg break and the 32-year-old, even though he doesn't need surgery, has been ruled out until the New Year.
He is the third Millers player to to be sidelined for a lengthy spell this season. Winger Chiedozie Ogbene and centre-half Clark Robertson also won't play again in 2020 after having knee and foot operations respectively.
"His tib and fib (tibia and fibula) smashed against each other when he landed at Stoke," said manager Paul Warne after last night's 1-0 home loss to Luton Town had left his side 19th in the Championship.
"We won't see him before January. He will be in a pot for four weeks. Then, once it has healed, he starts his rehab. It is a big blow for us and Shaun because he was in really good form."
To add to Rotherham's injury woe, left-back Joe Mattock went off against the Hatters with a suspected hamstring issue and right-back Billy Jones has a knee complaint that is expected to sideline him for two to three weeks.
Mattock will miss Saturday's visit of Preston North End, the final fixture before the two-week international break.
"We think it's his hammy," Warne said. "It's a muscle injury. It's the first soft-tissue injury we've had this season. At the moment we have Robbo out, Billy out, Macca out and Chieo out. A few weeks ago, three of those were in the first 11. We won't see Joe until after the international break.
"Billy has got a problem with his knee. Luckily, he doesn't need surgery. He is going to have an injection."
MacDonald had been one of the Millers' top performers and looked to have put an injury-plagued first year at AESSEAL New York Stadium behind him until he landed awkwardly against the Potters following an aerial challenge.
"It is disappointing," Warne said. "He brings a bit of calm and experience to the team. We were trying not to play him every game because we are aware of the impact on an older chassis.
"He thought he could play on last Saturday so that shows the player he is. It is next man up. Someone else has to full his boots. He loves playing football. He does everything right and he has just been really unfortunate."