THE LENGTH of Clark Robertson’s Rotherham United absence hinges on a specialist’s verdict this week after the defender’s injury nightmare took a further twist.
The centre-half has suffered foot damage for the third time in 2020 and could be facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The club are hoping initial estimates of three to four months prove wrong, but they fear the worst and are bracing themselves for the 27-year-old being ruled out until the New Year.
“We don’t know the verdict yet but at the moment it is not particularly positive news,” said assistant manager Richie Barker after the Millers’ 1-1 Championship draw at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night.
Robertson had twice fractured his foot in the last 12 months and the latest injury is believed to be the same one. He had just returned to the first team after a quad issue sustained on opening day at Wycombe Wanderers.
The player was hit by the latest blow in the last few seconds of last Saturday’s home clash with Norwich City and was said to be inconsolable in the dressing room afterwards.
He is desperate to be playing regularly again after missing a large part of last season because of a groin operation and then his first foot fracture.
“It is a similar sort of thing,” said Barker. “We will see what the specialist says.”
Rotherham head to leaders Reading on Saturday before a home derby with Sheffield Wednesday next Wednesday.
They have fitness concerns over Jamal Blackman after the goalkeeper limped off the pitch following the final whistle at the City Ground.
“He got a bit of a knock in training on his ankle,” Barker said.
“He was never a doubt for Forest but the more he kicked the ball the sorer it was getting. He will be in for treatment over the next couple of days so we will see how he is on Thursday and Friday.”
Meanwhile, manager Paul Warne is back in the fold after completing a period of self-isolation because of a coronavirus case in his family and was due back at the Roundwood complex today (Thursday).
Barker is as pleased as anyone after taking part in more Zoom meetings with the boss in the last two weeks than he cares to remember.
“The thing is, he requests a meeting to see how training went on, but he doesn’t know we are still training or we are still having a chat with the players,” the number two smiled.
“Through enthusiasm and desire to do well, he wants to know what is going on and we’re like: ‘Hold on a minute, we’ll get back to you in a second.’
“We’re all glad he’s back. He will be looking forward to his freedom.”
Left-back Joe Mattock is back in training after spending time in Covid-19 quarantine.
PAUL Warne reassured Matt Olosunde that the defender still had a future at Rotherham United before the close of the transfer window, the manager has revealed.
Olosunde played a major part in the Millers’ promotion last season but suffered a minor calf injury late on in pre-season and didn’t make the Championship matchday squad until Tuesday’s draw at Nottingham Forest where he came on as a substitute.
Warne says the right-back, who can also operate on the wing, was never one of the players he wanted to leave.
The boss said: “I pulled him into my office and told him: ‘Look, you’re really unlucky not to be in the team, let alone the squad, but nobody has done anything wrong.’”
Olosunde had been available for every league match until a groin niggle ruled him out of last Saturday’s home clash with Norwich City. Ironically, the 22-year-old had been due to make his first start that day.