Viktor Johansson and the prospect of a Rotherham United return

Viktor JohanssonViktor Johansson
Viktor Johansson
Is the injured Millers goalkeeper close to playing again?

MANAGER Matt Taylor is hoping number-one goalkeeper Viktor Johansson will make a return to the Rotherham United first-team fold before the close of the season.

The shot-stopper has been the stand-out performer in this term’s Championship survival fight but has been out of action for nearly a fortnight because of a shoulder injury.

The Millers need him more than ever now that Josh Vickers, the man who has been his understudy, is also sidelined.

Taylor admitted this week that the campaign could be over for the 24-year-old Swede. However, he is remaining optimistic that he will make a speedy recovery.

“We’re trying to be positive with it,” the boss said.  There’s less than three weeks of the season left. He can’t rush himself because he’s got his future career and the longevity of his shoulder to think about.”

Johansson has missed the last three matches and, according to his manager, will also sit out Saturday’s trip to Bristol City as the Millers bid to remain clear of the second-tier drop zone.

“As a goalkeeper, you can’t hide away from a shoulder injury,” Taylor said. “You might get away with it if you’re a middle-of-the-pitch player who doesn’t take throw-ins. We’ll give him as much time as he needs.

“Every day that goes by his shoulder becomes less painful. He can lift his arms and catch a ball. He’ll do individual work for the next few days, the next week, the next two weeks; whatever it takes for him to feel comfortable.

“The ultimate test will be when he has to dive. As soon as he can dive pain-free and without aggravating the initial injury, there’s a chance of him coming back.

“I have to be honest, he’s not close to that at the moment.”