Injuries pile up for FA Cup Rotherham United

By Paul Davis | 07/11/2019

Injuries pile up for FA Cup Rotherham United
Trevor Clarke is injured

INJURY-HIT Rotherham United are running checks on their mounting list of walking wounded as they gear up for Saturday's FA Cup test against non-league opposition.

The League One Millers have eight players either definitely ruled out or on the treatment table before they travel to National League Maidenhead United for their first-round tie.

Left-back or winger Trevor Clarke will be missing because of an ankle knock and centre-half Clark Robertson (groin) won't be risked.

Attacking midfielder Matt Crooks (groin) and left-back Joe Mattock (back) are serious concerns while there are also question marks over central defenders Michael Ihiekwe and Richard Wood.

"Joe is struggling. He won't train today (Thursday)," manager Warne confirmed. "Trev is a definite 'no'. He isn't fit.

"Crooksy has a problem. Woody is bothered by his quad. Icky has got a bit of an issue with his achilles.

"There are a few not training today. Hopefully, they'll be okay for the weekend. The biggest doubts are Joe and Crooksy."

Rotherham's preparations were further complicated on Thursday morning when torrential rain meant they had to switch training from their waterlogged Roundwood base to astroturf pitches in Brinsworth.

"Robbo is due to join group training today," said Warne. "We're on astro because of the flooding and that's not an ideal surface for your first day back with the main bunch.

"The intention was that he would resume training at the back end of last week  but that didn't happen. It's all governed by how he feels. We probably won't risk him today. He definitely isn't in contention to play this weekend."

Striker Kyle Vassell and midfielder Shaun MacDonald remain out of action with a calf injury and a virus respectively.

"We were hoping that Vass was going to rejoin the group today," Warne said. "He trained really well at the start of the week but he's still got a little bit of soreness. We won't risk him today either.

"Shaun has got a virus which has gone a bit ugly. He isn't available to train for at least another couple of weeks."

The Millers will field their best possible side as they look to avoid a first-round upset against a Berkshire side who lie 16th in the fifth tier of English football.

"I'm going to go strong," Warne confirmed. "I respect the cup and I respect the opposition.

"When I played for Ronnie Moore in my second spell here, we played at non-league Wealdstone in the cup. We won only 3-2. It was a right game and we came way thinking: 'Thank God we've won it.'

"I never under-estimate any opposition and that applies even more when we're away to a non-league side in the FA Cup. I played non-league football for years. I know what a big game it will be for them. They will up their performance by ten per cent.

"There will be loads of shocks this weekend. Hopefully we're not one of them. There is no way I'm picking a weakened side. I'll pick an 11 I think can win the game.”

Rotherham will have a real headache at left-back if Mattock fails to make it as the absent Clarke and Robertson are the only recognised senior stand-ins in that position.

However, the Millers have been boosted by the return of centre-half Adam Thompson who proved his fitness after a long-standing leg complaint in Tuesday's 2-1 reserves win over Grimsby Town.

The 26-year-old, yet to make his first-team debut after a summer switch from Bury, had been due to play against Lincoln City in the EFL Trophy next Tuesday buy may be fast-tracked into Saturday's squad.

"He may have to start this weekend," Warne said. "He's in contention. The game last Tuesday wasn't the biggest test for him, no disrespect. He's come through it and he's got used to playing again, which is ideal."

All of Rotherham’s loan players have been give permission by their parent clubs to play this weekend.


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