Rotherham United: Doubts over Shaun MacDonald for Bolton clash

Rotherham United are sweating on the fitness of Shaun MacDonald for Saturday's visit of Bolton Wanderers.

Thursday, 12th September 2019, 6:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th September 2019, 10:23 pm
Shaun MacDonald

The midfielder limped off during last weekend's derby defeat at Doncaster Rovers with a knock and missed training in the early part of the week.

He was due to return to the group as preparations for the Wanderers game stepped up and boss Paul Warne hopes he is fit.

“Shaun MacDonald didn't train on Monday or Tuesday but hopefully he can be involved with the squad on Thursday,” Warne said. “It's a pity because I thought he was playing really well before he was forced off at Donny, but we're hopeful that he'll be fit.”

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One man who is definitely out is Chiedoze Ogbene, who is out for several weeks with a hamstring injury while Kyle Vassell is missing with a similar complaint.

"Chieo has a severe hamstring problem so we know he'll be missing for a few weeks, but Kyle Vassell should join back in next week which will be good.

“I'm also led to believe that Billy Jones will be joining in with passing drills and parts of the session on Thursday. Trevor Clarke is just putting muscle on but he's getting there too.”

The Millers come up against opposition who are looking to kick-start their season after a troubled few months.

The Trotters, who are on minus-11 at the foot of the League One table, are playing their first game since their takeover and will finally be able to field a team full of senior professionals.

Their first five games saw them field a youth team and they lost three of them 5-0 but they will be far more competitive at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Warne is wary of them, especially as old foe Keith Hill is now in charge, and admits to being in the blind in terms of preparation.

"It's a strange one and a difficult game for us because of what's happened there,” he said. “It's great for Bolton that they've survived and signed nine or ten very good players.

"They came and watched us last week and they've had a fortnight to just prepare for this game so that will help them.

“There might be an element of rust, but what they lack in match sharpness will be made up by enthusiasm.

“The euphoria that will travel with them and all of the press coverage of that will give their players a massive boost and make the game a little harder for our lads, that accompanied by the fact we have absolutely no idea how they're going to play or what system they're going to use."