A DATE in London will decide whether injured Rotherham United duo Clark Robertson and Matt Crooks will have to undergo surgery to cure their groin problems.
The pair are travelling to the capital today (Friday) to see a specialist, with the Millers hoping the verdict won’t rule either player out of their League One promotion push.
Centre-half Robertson’s condition appears the more serious of the two and there is a real fear he will require an operation.
“I honestly don’t know if they will need ops,” said manager Paul Warne who takes his team to National League Solihull Moors in the second round of the FA Cup on Monday
“I’m hoping we can go down a different avenue and they can get injections that take the edge off the pain.
“I think Robbo is in a bit more pain than Crooksy. It’s getting to a stage where they can’t train every day, they can’t do this and that.”
Robertson, after a month’s rest, has appeared in the last three matches but broke down at Portsmouth in midweek. Attacking midfielder Crooks has managed to carry on playing despite not being fully fit.
“We pulled Robbo out and rested him for three weeks or so but he’s still in a lot of pain,” Warne said. “He’s trooping on for us but you can see it is hurting him.
“Towards the end of the game at Portsmouth on Tuesday I told him not to go up because he couldn’t get back in.
“Solihull are a big side. If I play him on Monday and it’s a competitive game Robbo is going to have to be prepared for long throws and corners. I don’t know that after 75 minutes he’s not going to break down. That’s what happened at Portsmouth.
“We need something to be put in place to sort it out. I hope he doesn’t have to have an op, but if he does I want him to have it, like, this minute. If he’s going to be out for two weeks I want him to be out for two weeks now.”
Injuries to Rotherham’s backline are mounting. Full-backs Billy Jones and Joe Mattock are on the treatment table along with centre-half Richard Wood and none of them have any chance of playing at Solihull.
Jones was having a scan yesterday to determine the extent of the damage to his hamstring after he limped off at Pompey.
The Millers hope Mattock (back) will resume training in the next few days and be available for the league clash at home to Rochdale a week tomorrow but they don’t expect Wood (hamstring) to be ready until the middle of December.
Rotherham, in fourth spot in the League One, face a tough knockout test on Monday against a big, physical Moors side who are favourites to top the National League this season and earn a place in the Football League.
“This is not a romantic, David-v-Goliath cup tie,” Warne warned. “I’m going to have to go with my strongest side.
“Solihull are second in their league and they are set up like a professional club. We are going to have to be at our best and we have to match their effort.”
Millers midfielder Shaun MacDonald is back at the club’s Roundwood base after a severe virus but has yet to resume training.
FIRED-UP OPPOSITION EYE FA CUP SHOCK
ROTHERHAM United’s FA Cup opponents are taking heart from their second-round exploits last season as they bid to spring an upset on the Millers.
Non-league Solihull Moors reached round two a year ago and pushed League One Blackpool all the way before losing 3-2 away in a replay.
Paul Warne’s side provide League One opposition again on Monday and Moors manager Tim Flowers said: “We showed against Blackpool that we can fight our corner and they were in a similar place to Rotherham are now.”
Flowers believes home advantage could be key for Solihull who are in second place in the National League.
“It will be a tough game,” he said. “They’re two divisions higher than us and flying. We can’t afford to make a mistake and we have to be right on our game.
“We are at home and we have to try and push them back, have them in the trenches. It’s great to be in the second round again and, for sure, it is a big game.”
Moors warmed up for the clash, which is being televised live by BT Sport, by winning 4-1 in a league encounter at Stockport County in midweek.
“In the first half on Tuesday we were not as dominant in the air as I like,” Flowers said. “We needed to speed up our passing in the second half and did so. We had been having four or five touches when two is enough.
“We were ruthless second half and looked destructive. If we get crosses into the right areas we cause problems.”