Why Tyler Blackett can't wait to to be in the same Rotherham United side as Cameron Humphreys again

PARTNERS on the sidelines.

Now Tyler Blackett is looking forward to him and Cameron Humphreys being partners out on the turf again.

The centre-half duo suffered serious hamstring injuries within a fortnight of each other early in Rotherham United's Championship campaign and helped each other through the grind of months of recovery.

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Humphreys returned to action in February and now Blackett has his fingers crossed he will be given game-time in the Good Friday trip to Preston North End, in the first match after the international break, after finally being signed off by the physios.

“Me and Cam have always shared a positive relationship anyway and I do think our time in the treatment room has strengthened that,” the former Manchester United prospect said.

“We spent plenty of hours in the gym in each other's company and did a lot of rehab together. Obviously, it’s not where either of us wanted to be but I can safely say we’ve made the most out of it and bonded throughout the process.”

The pair, who both needed surgery on severe tears, had formed an effective partnership before they became two of the most significant casualties of a Millers season beset by injuries.

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They were frustrated spectators while the relegation noose tightened and the availability of both has come too late to alter Rotherham's fate.

Blackett is adamant the club's position isn't down to any lack of effort from the players in red and white, although a few performances have suggested that some are giving more than others.

“These boys are fighting, trust me,” he said. “They’ve been doing their absolute utmost and I can vouch for that from behind the scenes.

“They've just been coming up short in the games recently.

“This season has thrown plenty of curveballs our way, but we’re all aware that, as long as we stay united as a group, we can finish the season strongly.”

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Humphreys has made nine consecutive appearances since his comeback at Leeds United on February 10 and is almost certain to start against Preston, the club against whom he suffered his injury on September 23.

Blackett, whose setback came ten days later against Bristol City, may have to settle for bench duty at Deepdale against Ryan Lowe's ninth-placed play-off hopefuls but is crossing his fingers for a place in the starting line-up.

He was among the substitutes for the first time since his operation when Rotherham signed off for the break by ending a nine-match losing streak with a goalless draw against Huddersfield Town at AESSEAL New York Stadium on March 16.

“It’s been a long process but I’m feeling great at the moment,” the defender said. “I’m ready to get back out there and play again.

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“Sometimes with injuries like mine that keep you out for a while, it can take a bit of time to get back into the swing of things, but I’m confident that it won’t take too long before I’m back to my best.

“I think the boys at the back have done well given the circumstances, what with our horrible luck with injuries – especially Haks (Hakeem Odoffin) since he’s stayed fit throughout it all.”

Blackett, who played for Reading and Nottingham Forest and spent a year in MLS football in America with Cincinnati before becoming a Miller, turns 30 the day after Easter Monday's visit of Millwall to New York.

He signed a one-year contract last summer and is keen to make up for lost time in the last eight fixtures before his deal expires.

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If that involves lining up alongside his pal, all the better.

“Cam’s obviously back now, too, which can only be good,” he said.

“I’ve got the same mindset and the same goal as I had at the start of the season, and that’s to be the best that I can be.

“Hopefully that will help me pick up where I left off until the end of the season.”