International break does Millers skipper a favour

ROTHERHAM United captain Richard Wood expects to be fit and available for selection for Saturday's Championship clash against Bolton Wanderers, adding: "The international break came at the right time."

Wood limped out of the draw against Stoke with a groin problem in the week earlier this month and had to pull out in the warm-up to the next match against Bristol City before sitting out the trip to Birmingham a fortnight ago.

While the injury interrupted a good start to the season for the central defender, the  respite from league action has been beneficial.

Wood told the Advertiser: "The international break timed well because I didn't miss that many games. Looking back now, if we hadn't had the midweek game against Bristol then I would probably have been alright for Birmingham. We were low on numbers and you know what I'm like, I was desperate to play, but it was just too much in it for me, and of course I missed Birmingham because I still wasn't right.

"After a full week's training, hopefully I will be fine for the weekend."

At 33 and after so many years in the professional game, Wood says he knows his body better these days.

Kyle Vassell...international bow with Northern Ireland.

"I picked up the injury just after we'd scored our second goal against Stoke," he added. "Benik Afobe had a chance in the box and I tackled him. It wasn't a stretch or anything like that, just an awkward movement, and it just didn't feel right. I know my own body now and that's why I walked off the pitch.

"I have been feeling very good. I haven't been injured for something like 18 months. I was feeling well and I think I was playing well but as with all injuries, you just have to stay positive and not worry too much about it, which I haven't done."

The match against Bolton is the first of a set of five before the next break in November. A trip up to Middlesbrough follows on Tuesday.

Added Wood. "These international breaks are good because we haven't got the biggest squad compared to other teams. It just gives that little break so we can go full throttle again, because that's how we play.

"The next one in November sets us up for a busy Christmas."

Wood's team-mate Kyle Vassell returns to domestic duty this week after two appearances for Northern Ireland.

He made his international debut as a substitute in their UEFA Nations League tie against Austria and was also introduced against Bosnia and Herzegovina last night.