Rotherham United: Taylor fitness battle for Millers and why keeper Price is sidelined
Winger Jon Taylor is facing a fight to be fit for Rotherham United's clash with high-flying Shrewsbury Town on Saturday after suffering his second knee injury of the season.
The pacy forward made his first start in nearly six weeks in last Saturday’s derby draw at Doncaster Rovers but limped out of proceedings in the second half.
He suffered on a knock to the knee which he first damaged in September’s 5-1 win over Walsall.
“Taylor’s knee was sore,” manager Paul Warne revealed. “He took a whack on the part he has been struggling with. I think he will be a doubt for Shrewsbury.
The 25-year-old’s pace and energy are one of the reasons why Rotherham occupy a League One play-off spot as they entertain leaders the Shrews, managed by Millers old boy Paul Hurst, at AESSEAL New York Stadium this weekend.
His potential absence is offset by the returns of midfielder Lee Frecklington and left-back Joe Mattock after a back injury and suspension respectively.
“I have got Frecks and Joe coming back, which is a joy of joys,” Warne said.
The boss revealed how a talk with Richard O’Donnell led to the goalkeeper producing an assured display in the Rovers encounter which saw Rotherham earn a point in the dying seconds through striker Kieffer Moore’s 13th goal of the season.
O’Donnell had been at fault as Crewe Alexandra came from a goal behind to beat the Millers 2-1 in the FA Cup a week earlier.
“We spoke about the Crewe thing. Everyone is going to make a mistake,” Warne said. “It’s hard being a goalkeeper. I couldn’t be a goalkeeper. The monkey in my brain would be clapping cymbals. You have too much time on your own.
“When you make a mistake as a goalie, you can’t go and tackle anyone. You just have to wait.
“I thought there wasn’t one thing he did wrong against Doncaster. He was confident coming for things. I thought he was outstanding.”
With O’Donnell’s main rival, Marek Rodak, away on international duty, Warne had been considering starting with Lewis Price in the net at the Keepmoat Stadium until the third-choice keeper was injured in training.
“Price dislocated and broke his finger last Thursday,” Warne confirmed.
Right-back Shaun Cummings missed the Doncaster showdown as a precaution after complaining of a tight hamstring.
“He wasn’t confident how many minutes he could give me, so I decided he wouldn’t give me any,” Warne said. “I don’t want to use up a substitute on a full-back.”
Centre-half Michael Ihiekwe misses the Shrews contest after picking up five yellow cards.
England Under-17s take on Germany at New York tonight.