The latest on Rotherham United key man Ollie Rathbone and his groin issue

Ollie RathboneOllie Rathbone
Ollie Rathbone
Hope and worry at the same time.

OLLIE Rathbone may be given an injection during the international break as Rotherham United look to speed up their star midfielder's recovery from a groin injury.

The 26-year-old hasn't played since the 1-1 draw at Swansea City nearly a month ago and headed into the two-week shutdown in the Championship schedule that began last weekend still unable to train.

The Millers, who are four points clear of the drop zone, don't think the former Rochdale man needs surgery but are considering a different medical intervention.

"If the pain doesn't subside like we're expecting it to and it's still an issue then a jab is an option," said manager Matt Taylor. "That decision won't be my decision. It will be made by the medical experts. We'd rather let it heal more naturally."

Rotherham are hoping Rathbone will be in their matchday 18 when they return to action at Hull City a week on Saturday but can't guarantee his availability.

"He needs to train beforehand because he'll have been out for a four-to-five-week period," Taylor said. "We need him out on the grass and doing some physical work. He's been a little behind where we expected him to be."

The player has had similar groin issues in the past and missed the 2-2 draw at Coventry City in October. He made a quick comeback on that occasion and has been Rotherham's leading outfield player since the turn of the year.

The first-team squad were regrouping at their Roundwood base this week after being granted time off at the start of the break.

The Millers have nine matches left to play in their survival run-in and are four points clear of Huddersfield Town who presently occupy the last relegation spot. They also have a game in hand on the Terriers.