What next for Rotherham United's Shane Ferguson in his quest to return after two operations?
SIDELINED Shane Ferguson has a date with a specialist tomorrow as he takes the next step towards ending his eight-month injury ordeal.
The Rotherham United winger has been troubled by groin issues since January and hasn't worn a first-team jersey since last May's survival-sealing Championship win over Middlesbrough.
He has twice had hernia operations over the summer - the latest one of which was conducted by a world-leading surgeon in Germany - and remains some way off from making a recovery.
"He's going to see a specialist just to try to get to the bottom of what he's feeling," manager Matt Taylor said. "Considering he's had two lots of surgery in the last four months I think we've got to expect a few issues in and around that (hernia) area."
Ferguson played in discomfort in the second half of last season and was rewarded for his efforts when the Millers activated a clause in his contract to extend his two-year stay at AESSEAL New York Stadium by a further 12 months.
The 32-year-old Northern Ireland international was one of six senior players Rotherham were unable to call upon in the lead-up to the international break which began after the September 2 win over Norwich City.
Midfielder Hakeem Odoffin and Georgie Kelly are set to return to full training tomorrow following hamstring and knee problems respectively while Taylor says right-back Lee Peltier (calf), centre-half Grant Hall (hamstring) and midfield man Jamie Lindsay (achilles) are close to comebacks.
"There's only Shane who we see as a longer-term absentee," the boss said.