Rotherham United: Billy Jones facing lengthy lay-off plus latest on Mattock, Robertson and Crooks
Rotherham United have been hit with news that Billy Jones is unlikely to play again until 2020.
The defender has suffered a hamstring tear and the scan has shown bad damage which could keep him out for six weeks.
Jones, whose time at the Millers has been blighted by injury, will miss the festive period and it is a blow to boss Paul Warne.
“With Billy, unfortunately is a long one, it's a six-weeker, though he has had a week already, I don't think he will play again this year.
“He has been excellent for us so that is a massive blow.”
Richard Wood (hamstring) and Shaun MacDonald (virus) are still around two weeks from a return, meaning Warne's defensive headache continues for Saturday's visit of Rochdale.
Joe Mattock (back), who has been missing for the best part of a month, could be considered if he gets through training OK, while Clark Robertson has had his injection on his troublesome groin.
“Robbo had an injection on Tuesday, hopefully he will train on Friday, give him 48 hours rest but we don't know yet,” Warne said.
“We were hoping to get Joe Mattock training today (Thursday).
“It is a hard one, I don't like rushing players back but sometimes need are must.
“Joe has been doing loads of straight line running so actual fitness wise he will be fine, it is just the movement.
“He did loads of crossing on Tuesday and loads of running, in that respect he is fine. If he can get through two days of training then I will consider playing him.”
While Robertson has had his injection, Matt Crooks' has been further delayed as he needs some dental treatment beforehand.
"The injection Crooksy needs is a bit complicated," Warne said.
"The injection goes to the bone where there's a problem. He's also got a problem in his jaw with a wisdom tooth and he has to have his wisdom tooth taken out first.
"If he doesn't, the jaw gets stronger because of the injection and then they wouldn't be able to get the tooth out.
"It's dental work first, then the injection, then he's out for two weeks. He's doing power work and strengthening work to alleviate the pain.
"Tuesday was the first day in about six weeks where he's trained and been pain-free. That might be his mind telling him he doesn't want the injection.
"If it's at all possible to manage it in a different way and we don't have to have him out then obviously we'll do that."