Break comes at good time for Christ Tiehi as Rotherham United ‘manage’ groin issue

Rotherham United midfielder Christ Tiehi. Picture: Jim BrailsfordRotherham United midfielder Christ Tiehi. Picture: Jim Brailsford
Rotherham United midfielder Christ Tiehi. Picture: Jim Brailsford
ROTHERHAM United are hoping that key man Christ Tiehi will have put an injury concern behind him when they emerge from the international break for a Yorkshire derby tomorrow night.

The late-August arrival, who was briefly the club's record signing before the arrival of striker Sam Nombe, had been playing with discomfort in his groin before the two-week lull in Championship action.

The Millers, who are at home to Leeds United, are banking on some downtime in the last fortnight curing the problem they feared could deteriorate into a hernia.

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“We've been managing him,” revealed then-manager Matt Taylor as Rotherham signed off for the break earlier this month with the 5-0 loss at Watford that would signal the end of the boss’s time in the hot-seat.

“The break comes at a good time for him. He's got the chance to rest and reset.”

Tiehi has been one of Rotherham's most impressive performers after a £400,000-plus switch from Czech Republic side Slovan Liberec that was held up for several weeks during the summer while a work permit was granted.

The 25-year-old French-born midfielder has managed to start every league game since his arrival despite the niggle that prevents him from putting his full weight into shooting and passing.

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“He notifies us about it when he does a finishing session,” Taylor said. “He just doesn't fully strike through the ball.”

Ironically, the player scored one of the goals of the season - the 18-yard, curling stoppage-time equaliser in a 2-2 draw with Ipswich Town - because of his need to protect his problem area.

“He didn't ‘lace’ the ball, he kind of guided it in there,” Taylor said. “That's the only thing that triggers that feeling he has. We don't want that to develop into a hernia or any other issues.”

Tiehi was left in limbo and unable to play for more than a month in the summer while the red tape surrounding his move was resolved.

“He's done his pre-season and ‘catch-up’ during the rigours of the Championship, which is incredible,” Taylor said.