Rotherham United's hope over Andre Green and Grant Hall as they prepare to face Blackburn Rovers
ROTHERHAM United duo Andre Green and Grant Hall are caught in a race against time as they bid to prove their fitness for Saturday's home Championship clash against Blackburn Rovers.
The Millers will give them as long as possible before making a decision on their availability for the first league game of the new campaign at AESSEAL New York Stadium.
Striker Green, the club's most recent signing, has been nursing a sore groin and has yet to make his debut while Hall experienced hamstring tightness in the final outing of pre-season, at Lincoln City on July 29.
"Andre's got a chance," said manager Matt Taylor at this afternoon's pre-match press conference. "He's done a little bit more today in terms of vigorous exercise and training.
"We have to wait to see how he reacts tomorrow and then probably leave it as late as Saturday morning. It's the same situation for Grant. We'll monitor them both."
The boss is "hoping and expecting" midfielder Ben Wiles will shake off a dead leg and make the starting 11 while frontman Tom Eaves, who has recovered from a calf complaint, could make the squad after a six-week absence.
The capture of Green on a two-year deal was announced on August 2 after he had pressed his claims by scoring twice in two matches, against Mansfield Town and Sheffield United, during a ten-day trial.
However, his groin issue kept him out of the opening-day Championship clash at Stoke City last weekend and also Tuesday night's home Carabao Cup first-round tie against League Two Morecambe.
The player, who had been a free agent following his departure from Slovakian side Slovan Bratislava at the end of last season, reported feeling discomfort on July 28, three days after bagging the winner over the Premier League Blades in a friendly at New York.
After a period of inactivity since leaving Bratislava, he had pushed his body hard during his initial week-and-a-half spell with the Millers in a bid to earn a contract.
“It is always difficult in terms of training time, especially with it being the start of the season and considering his lack of a pre-season,” Taylor said.
“He only really had the ten days' training and those two games with us. It was a physical strain for him to play 50-60 minutes in each of the two trial games.”
Meanwhile, Ollie Rathbone reckons the loss at Stoke will be forgotten if the Millers see off Blackburn.
The midfielder, one of the scorers in the victory over Rovers last term, said: “We know how important our home form is. Saturday is a good chance for us to bounce back and I’m optimistic that we can do that.
"Stoke was a tough day but no-one will remember it if we beat Blackburn.”
Winger Shane Ferguson (stomach) and midfield man Jamie Lindsay (achilles) remain sidelined.