ROTHERHAM United are in no hurry to rush Ryan Cresswell back into first team action.
The big central defender returned to training this week after suffering ankle ligament damage whilst on his way back from shoulder surgery.
He broke his collar bone on December 11, had an operation and was ahead of schedule when he resumed training a couple of weeks ago.
“He insisted on some extra heading practice and it was right at the end of it that he ran after a ball and went over on his ankle,” said manager Ronnie Moore.
“It was a blow to him and to us and it meant another enforced break just when he was looking like getting back.
“Knowing the lad, he will want to get back playing as soon as possible but when you have been out for over two and a half months, you need a game elsewhere than starting straight back at first team level.
“To push him straight back in might also run the risk of picking something else up so we’re not going to rush him. It would have to be an emergency.
“We’d like to have fixed something up this week to give him a game but it wasn’t possible, not least with the squad not getting back from Torquay until the early hours on Wednesday.
“We’re at Bradford City next Tuesday and we intend getting a friendly fixed up, probably on Wednesday.”
Moore also conceded that it will cause him a selection problem that is less than straightforward because Johnny Mullins has slotted effectively into Cresswell’s centre defence spot during his absence.
In addition, the right back spot that Mullins occupied previously, is now pinned down by on-loan Danny Coid.
Mullins had to go off during the first half of the draw at Torquay after taking two blows to the head within a matter of minutes, one when the ball was hammered into his face at close range and then when he took an elbow in the same spot.
He managed to walk off but was clearly groggy and had to be replaced.
“He said he didn’t know where he was but he doesn’t know where he is at the best of times,” laughed Moore.
“He said that he was seeing stars but I’m not sure he’d been seeing any on the pitch in the first 20 minutes.”
Moore said he didn’t anticipate any problems over Mullins’s availability for the home game with Barnet on Saturday.
When he went off, Luke Ashworth went on and, despite one early slip, had a steady game.
An interesting selection was that of Liam Henderson who got the nod ahead of Omar Daley. The striker, on loan from Watford, had an excellent debut and was unfortunate to be left out at Burton although first choice Ryan Taylor was fit again and returned.
It was Henderson’s impact at Burton when going on with 20 minutes left which persuaded boss Moore to start with him at Torquay and, as at Burton, he had a role on the right side.
He justified the inclusion with another willing and hard-working performance and showed commitment, not least in an eye-shutting 50/50 heading duel in which his opponent ended up accidentally hurt.
Henderson now looks set to stay in the side for Saturday’s home game with next-to-bottom Barnet.