ROTHERHAM United’s injury curse has struck again, with winger Kieran Sadlier becoming the fourth player to be ruled out until the New Year.
The attacker has damaged his ankle ligaments and joins winger Chiedozie Ogbene, centre-half Clark Robertson and midfielder Shaun MacDonald on the list of men who won’t be seen again in 2020.
Full-backs Joe Mattock and Billy Jones are also on the treatment table and the Millers had only 16 outfield players fit to train yesterday (Wednesday) when they returned to Roundwood after three days off during the international break.
Sadlier suffered the injury in last weekend’s 2-1 Championship home win over Preston North End. Rotherham hoped he would be sidelined for only two to three weeks but tests revealed the issue is worse than they first thought.
“A Preston player slid for the ball and put his body weight through Sads’ foot,” said Warne whose squad have no match this weekend.
“Kieran sort of twisted his ankle with an extra force and it’s done a bit of ligament damage. We don’t know yet whether he will need surgery to repair it.
“What we do know is that if it isn’t a surgical repair his foot will have to be in a boot for so many weeks. He won’t be rejoining training for at least 12 weeks, which is a blow.”
Warne says he has never encountered so many serious injuries at the same time in his long career as a player and manager.
“We already had a long-term injury with Chieo’s knee and we’ve had two bone breaks with Clark Robertson and Shaun MacDonald,” he said.
“We’ve been a bit unfortunate. I’ve never known it this bad. None of the players are just squad players either, not that we really have squad players here.
“They are all proper players who have been first-team regulars when they’re fit. Robbo, Shauny Mac and Chieo were all in the side when they suffered their injuries and Sads had got back in as well. It’s nearly half a team that we have out.”
Sadlier posted on his Twitter page that he is "gutted".
Mattock and Jones have hamstring and knee issues respectively and could be back within a fortnight.