Conor Coventry hit by illness, half a dozen Rotherham United players facing checks and the latest update on Bailey Wright

Fitness concerns for the Millers in the build-up to the trip to Birmingham City.
Conor CoventryConor Coventry
Conor Coventry

CONOR Coventry is battling to fight off tonsillitis to take his place in the Rotherham United team for tomorrow's Championship clash at Birmingham City.

The loan midfielder, who has become a key man in the Millers' survival mission since his January switch from Premier League West Ham United, missed training earlier this week and made a tentative return yesterday.

"He's had pretty sore tonsils," manager Matt Taylor said. "He's been on antibiotics. He didn't look great when he came back, I won't lie to you. He looked awfully pale and a little bit low on energy."

The 22-year-old has started all seven games since his arrival in South Yorkshire and has already played through illness as Rotherham have opened up an eight-point gap between themselves and the relegation places.

"I've been so, so impressed with him since he joined us," Taylor said. "He was sick a couple of weeks ago. I think that's partly due to the load he's going through. It's the first time he's played this amount of Championship games so maybe he's immune system has flagged a little it.

"We want him available against Birmingham, but we don't want to put someone out there who is in a low-energy state before the game. We'll assess him."

Coventry is one of around half-a-dozen Millers players being checked today or tomorrow to see if they're fit enough to face the Blues.

Among that number are midfielder Ollie Rathbone, right-back Lee Peltier and centre-half Bailey Wright who was yesterday still wearing a protective boot to ease the load on the calf he damaged in last weekend's win over Queens Park Rangers.

"It's a precautionary decision by the physios," Taylor said. "It's to protect him when he's walking around. It would be a quick turnaround to go from a moon boot to football boots this weekend.

"He's improving every day and he's functional in the gym."

Central defender Tyler Blackett, signed this week on a deal to the end of the season, could make the matchday 18.