A late scan will decide whether key man Izzy Brown starts for Rotherham United in tomorrow’s South Yorkshire derby at Sheffield Wednesday.
The young attacker limped out of Tuesday’s match at Fulham and is will undergo tests this afternoon ahead of the Championship showdown at Hillsborough where the Millers haven’t lost since 1981.
“I would say Izzy is very doubtful. He is sore in his hamstrings,” said caretaker boss Paul Warne who is taking charge of his fourth match and could be handed the hot-seat for an extended spell after the weekend.
“He’s having a scan today. I will assess it later. If I think it’s an unnecessary risk, I won’t put him on the pitch.
“Him playing and then being out for five weeks is no good to me. I spoke to the player today. He’s desperate to play. Once I see the scan and speak to the medical team, I’ll make my decision.”
Brown, aged 19, is on loan from Chelsea and the England youth star has been a big player for Rotherham since fitness coach Warne stepped into the role vacated by Kenny Jackett.
Premier League veteran Peter Odemingie is available after serving a three-match ban for a straight red card against Leeds and would be a contender to replace him.
“Izzy spent a day with Chelsea after the Fulham match,” Warne said. “We have a good relationship with Chelsea. I think they’re happy with the way he’s playing.
“He’s added to his value. He’s an asset to them. They’re happy to leave the decision on whether he plays to us.”
The Millers, who head into tomorrow’s clash 12 points adrift of safety at the foot of the table, are optimistic striker Danny Ward will be able to play after hurting his wrist at Craven Cottage.
“Danny has a better than 50:50 chance,” Warne confirmed.
Warne won twice at Hillsborough as a Millers player and would love to pull off a shock victory against the play-off contenders as interim boss after his first three games brought narrow defeats at Burton Albion and Fulham and a home triumph over QPR.
“It would be ledge!” he said. “It would be nice to turn my phone on after the game. When I turned my phone on after the QPR game I had about 86 texts, which was lovely, but a bit of a hindrance because you have to text everyone back saying ‘thanks’.
“They text you back again and it’s like ‘whoa, whoa, whoah! I don’t want to have a conversation. I have got 86 of these’.
“When I turned it on after Fulham, I got six, so it would be nice to turn it on after Sheffield Wednesday and have loads of texts.
“I am not making a big deal of it to the players, but it would be nice to walk into Tescos for my muffins next week and someone say: ‘Well done for beating Wednesday.’”
Centre-half Kirk Broadfoot, who has been out since August after back surgery, is scheduled to play for the reserves next Tuesday and Warne intends to add him to the first-team squad for the Boxing Day visit of Wigan Athletic to New York Stadium.