Key man Jon Taylor should be back in Rotherham United action within three weeks, ending fears that the winger was facing an extended spell on the sidelines.
The 25-year-old damaged his knee in the 5-1 win over Oldham Athletic eight days ago and there was concern in the Millers camp that he would be ruled out until the New Year.
But a scan has shown the injury isn’t as bad as first thought and he is set to return later this month.
“Initially, we thought he could be out for three or four months, which would have been a massive loss,” manager Paul Warne said. “But that’s not the case. It looks like it’s going to be two weeks/three weeks.”
Taylor had bagged three goals in four matches before the Oldham clash, and his pace and direct running have been a big factor in Rotherham being among the Football League’s top scorers.
“Amazingly - and it does happen, because the brain is the most powerful muscle of all - now he knows it’s going to be only two or three weeks, he feels better already!” Warne added.
“He’s gone from being shot to thinking he can play on Tuesday night (at home to Chesterfield in the Checkatrade Trophy). Now we’ll have to hold him back.
“It’s great news. Tayls’ energy is there for us all to see. He gets us up the pitch. He’s crucial, even more so away from home.”
Warne praised the contribution of goalkeeper Marek Rodak after the Millers beat Northampton Town 1-0 at AESSEAL New York Stadium on Saturday to move up to eighth in League One.
Some fans have criticised the Fulham loanee for punching the ball away rather than trying to catch it, but the Rotherham boss likes the way the 20-year-old comes for everything in the box.
“He takes the pressure off the back four,” Warne said. “Woody and Michael (centre-halves Richard Wood and Michael Ihiekwe) say it’s great playing in front of him.”
Striker Kieffer Moore scored his ninth goal in 11 league games against the Cobblers before being withdrawn late in the second half to protect his tight groin.
“Kieffer tightened up so I brought Jono (Jonson Clark-Harris) on,” Warne said. “He was just stiffening up. You could see him stretching his groin. It’s a constant battle with him. I won’t take a risk with any of my players, especially him.”