rotherham United defender Johnny Mullins, who is set to be a long-term injury absentee, has been praised for having a “fantastic” season.
Millers caretaker-manager Andy Liddell stepped forward to applaud the 25-year-old who is likely to be out for an estimated six months after suffering a knee injury in training.
“He’s a good player, he’s done well this season and we’re going to miss him,” said Liddell about Mullins who joined Rotherham last summer from Stockport where he was Player of the Year.
“I really feel for him because he’s been fantastic, one of the best central defenders in the division this season.
“We’ll miss him not just for his efforts on the pitch but because he’s a great lad too and brilliant around the dressing room.
“I’ve got a lot of time for him.”
Liddell said he suspected it was “a bad one” when it happened.
“The kneecap came out and went back and I heard a crack or a snap and I thought at the time he’d copped a bad one,” he said.
“He was in a lot of pain and the initial reckoning was that Johnny would be out about six or seven months, but we hope it won’t be that long.”
The defender will have an operation this week when the full extent of the injury will be ascertained and the timescale of his absence decided.
Mullins, who also played at Mansfield, missed the start of the season through injury and had to sit out the opening five matches.
He began playing at right-back but was later switched to centre defence and has played regularly there since November and formed a partnership with Nick Fenton.
Ryan Cresswell returned to the side at Cheltenham. There was also a change in goal with Andy Warrington out for a spell with a foot injury which gave another opportunity to one-time Sheffield United youngster Jamie Annerson, his seventh appearance of the season.