NEW boy Curtis Tilt will miss the start of promoted Rotherham United’s Championship campaign after undergoing surgery on his troublesome hip.
The central defender has played only an hour of football since his £100,000 January switch from Blackpool and is one of two Millers players who have needed operations.
Striker Jamie Proctor, who spent most of the year on loan at Scunthorpe United and AFC Fylde, has had repair work done on his damaged knee and is another long-term casualty.
“We won’t see them any time soon,” said manager Paul Warne who is attempting to bring back three loan stars of the promotion year back to AESSEAL New York Stadium. “They’ll be out for months.
“Tilty has had an operation on his hip, a bit like (tennis player) Andy Murray sort of thing. He’s out until October. I don’t know when Procs will be back.”
Next season is expected to kick off in September, meaning Tilt won’t be available for Rotherham’s opening games.
Fortunately, the Millers still look strong in the centre-half department, with Michael Ihiekwe and Clark Robertson back to full fitness and looking sharp in pre-season training after surgeries of their own.
“Icky has had no ill effects with his knee, which is good news. Robbo has had no ill effects from his broken foot, which is also good news,” Warne said.
The boss would love to see some of this season’s loan players — goalkeeper Dan Iversen, midfielder Dan Barlaser and winger Hakeeb Adelakun — in red-and-white shirts again next term.
“There is a good chance that some of the loanees could return,” he said. “It’s 50:50 on all of them really. I would like to keep a couple or three of them.
“They understand how we play and what we do. It’s the parent clubs, not me, who decide where they go, unfortunately. We can ask the question and they can politely ask us to be patient. We’ve put in requests to re-sign two or three of them and we just have to wait.”
Warne’s keenness to work again with Iversen and Barlaser is already well documented and Bristol City’s Adelakun is most likely the third target.
Rotherham are looking to sign up to eight new players and began their recruitment last Sunday by announcing the arrival of left winger Mickel Miller from Scottish Premier League side Hamilton Academical on a two-year-deal.
The 24-year-old, from Croydon, has already shown up well in training where midfielder Matt Crooks usually leads the way in stamina tests.
“Mickel gave Crooksy a run for his money the other day so he’s in very good shape,” Warne said.
The Millers players, who are working out in small groups and remaining socially distanced, are being tested twice a week for coronavirus and have all reported negative for the Covid-19 virus.