More groin concern over Rotherham United star man Ollie Rathbone

Ollie RathboneOllie Rathbone
Ollie Rathbone
Could he still play for the Millers against Sunderland tomorrow?

ROTHERHAM United will make a late decision on the fitness of key figure Ollie Rathbone as they gear up for tomorrow night's Championship clash with high-flying Sunderland.

The in-form midfielder, described by manager Matt Taylor as "our talisman", has been experiencing pain in his groin in a recurrence of a complaint that bothered him earlier in the season.

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He managed to play against Reading last Tuesday and Coventry City on Saturday but the Millers are aware that they can't keep asking too much of the 26-year-old.

"We are still concerned about the issue he has got," said Taylor this afternoon. "We will assess him in the next 24 hours.

"He has not done much today. There is a little bit of pain there. It's in a similar place to where there was pain this time last Monday and we got 70 minutes out of him at Reading.

"It's a question of whether we keep on putting him out there and keep on putting him at risk. We need our best players on the pitch."

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The boss could freshen up his squad for the visit to AESSEAL New York Stadium of the fifth-placed Black Cats after saying some of his players looked "leggy" in the 2-0 home loss to the Sky Blues that left Rotherham in 21st spot, two points above the drop zone.

Winger Tariqe Fosu was on the bench on Saturday after a string of starts since his January loan arrival.

"He was at a bit of a physical low," Taylor said. "He has a chance of coming back into the 11."

Another loanee, centre-half Bailey Wright, can't feature tomorrow because Sunderland are his parent club.