A FREAK incident at home has delayed Rotherham United's Joe Mattock return from a back problem.
The left-back had been experiencing pain for several weeks but was hoping that missing three matches because of suspension would see his trouble ease.
However, the 29-year-old sustained further damage while sitting on the settee in his lounge in Sheffield earlier this month and is now back on the sidelines.
"He had a three-week ban," manager Paul Warne said. "The first week he trained but in the second week he picked up his mobile phone from down the sofa, twisted his back and his back went into spasm."
Mattock hasn't played since receiving a straight red in Rotherham's 4-0 League One win against Peterborough United at AESSEAL New York Stadium on December 29.
The Millers had been anticipating having him available for last Saturday's 3-0 home triumph over Bristol Rovers but the player didn't even make the bench,
"He had an injection at the start of the week that we were led to believe would cure the issue in 24 hours," said Warne following the Rovers encounter. "He's had a setback with that. I don't know if he will be available next week or not."
Midfielder Ben Wiles, after deputising so ably at left-back in the 3-1 victory at Oxford United a week earlier, stood in again for Mattock against Rovers.
"Even if Joe had been ready for Bristol I'd have probably stuck with Wilesy anyway because he was excellent at Oxford when the team played the best I've seen them play," Warne said. "If I can, I like to try to be faithful."
Wiles had his ankle stood on against Rovers and the youngster is being monitored at training this week.
Warne paid tribute to the youngster and right-back Matt Olosunde after the Bristol success had seen the Millers remain top of the table.
"Wilesy makes football look ridiculously easy," the boss said. "He was better in the air than my two centre-halves at times. I'm really pleased with him.
"In my humble opinion, Matt was unbelievable in the second half. He didn't make a single bad decision."
Back-up goalkeeper Lewis Price is expected to be fit shortly after missing the last two games.
"He's done his ankle," said Warne. "It's fine for him to train on but the kicking process is causing him problems.
Price had a scan last Friday and Warne said: "I think the injury will settle down soon."