Date with specialist as Grant Hall ruled out for Rotherham United yet again

GRANT Hall's season of woe has taken another turn for the worse, with the Rotherham United defending facing yet another period on the sidelines.

The centre-half has made only two Championship starts for the Millers this season because of hamstring issues and a hip complaint.

He has been hit by another hip problem which has kept him out of the last two matches and has required him to see a specialist.

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“Hally has gone for a second opinion,” confirmed head coach Leam Richardson as he prepares his squad for Friday's visit to AESSEAL New York Stadium of Sunderland (kick-off: 7.45pm).

Rotherham United centre-half Grant Hall. Picture: Jim BrailsfordRotherham United centre-half Grant Hall. Picture: Jim Brailsford
Rotherham United centre-half Grant Hall. Picture: Jim Brailsford

Hall, aged 32, signed a one-year deal with Rotherham in the summer following his release by Middlesbrough and has since been restricted to just six outings, four of which have come off the bench.

Two other players set to sit out the Black Cats clash are right-back Lee Peltier and winger Fred Onyedinma who have both suffered hamstring trouble.

The former hasn't featured in the Christmas schedule so far and is an almost-certain absentee on Friday while the latter has been laid low since last month.

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“We will get Pelts reviewed again in the next few days,” said Richardson after the Boxing Day triumph over Middlesbrough had given him his first win since he took charge on December 11.

“As for Fred, I caught up with the medical team last week and with him. Its important we make sure the individual is doing as much as he can to get back to fitness.”

No public timescale has been put on any of the missing men's returns.

The news is better concerning goalkeeper Viktor Johansson who twice needed the attention of Rotherham's physios after a challenge by Boro's Morgan Rogers on Tuesday.

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The Swede is a league ever-present this term and Richardson is optimistic that run will continue against Sunderland and then at Blackburn Rovers on New Year's Day.

“Viktor took an impact to his knee after the whistle had gone and then felt it again,” the boss said. “It (the treatment) was more precautionary than anything else, so fingers crossed.”

The Millers' injury crisis meant that they had to leave two spaces on their nine-man bench unfilled for the Boro encounter.

They have been boosted, however, by the return to the squad of midfielders Cafu and Sam Clucas who had been among the casualty count with hamstring pulls since the November 11 match at Watford .

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“Cafu and Sam have had only a certain amount of training days," Richardson said. "They are desperate to be involved even though they are probably a way off the levels that they are used to being at.

“With the numbers we’ve got, it’s important to have them around the group. They want to help as professionals.”