Rotherham United welcome back three of their top players for tomorrow’s trip to Brentford but must wait one more game for the long-anticipated return of captain Lee Frecklington.
Top scorer Danny Ward, centre-half Semi Ajayi and midfielder Tom Adeyemi are in the squad to face the Bees after missing last week’s defeat at Cardiff City.
Frecklington, out since early January with an ankle problem, is travelling with the Millers, although he won’t be risked in West London as caretaker manager Paul Warne wants to give the influential midfielder every chance of being available the following weekend.
“Frecks is good. He’s coming with us,” Warne told The Star. “He really wants a week’s training and, if I am honest, I would rather have him at home to Aston Villa next Saturday than away to Brentford.
Frecklington underwent surgery after limping out of the clash at Leeds United on January 2 and is back in full training.
“This week, he trained Monday, Tuesday and was a little bit sore Wednesday so didn’t ‘grass train’,” Warne said.
“He trained on Thursday and felt amazing and he feels good today, so we are taking him down and he will do some work with us.
“I am pretty hopeful that he will be available for next week.”
The Championship’s bottom club suffered their heaviest loss of the season when they went down 5-0 at Cardiff City Stadium.
“We were missing Ajayi, Adeyemi and Ward and they’ve probably been our best three performers in recent weeks,” Warne
“Wardy is back. He was embarrassing the back four in training yesterday so that is good for his confidence, and I have got Adeyemi and Ajayi back. That is a big part of the team returning.”
Right-back Darnell Fisher, in his first outing since suffering a pulled hamstring, broke down during a reserve match in midweek and is expected to be out for three to four weeks, while striker Carlton Morris has still to arrive in South Yorkshire from Norwich City after signing a loan deal in the January transfer window.
“He is not with us yet,” Warne said. “He is a bit like Darnell. He had a grade-two hamstring injury. We were expecting to get him in the first week of February but he had a setback and that elongated his recovery significantly.
“I keep saying the same thing every week, but I am hopeful he will be joining us next week with the Villa came coming up. It might be the week after, but whenever he comes he will be a good addition to the lads.”
Central defender Aimen Belaid confirmed his recovery from a hamstring pull by coming through the reserves’ 3-0 win over Hartlepool unscathed and midfielder Joe Newell is fine after struggling with a tight gluteus muscle in the latter stages of the Cardiff match.
Goalkeeper Lewis Price is training again after injury and illness and looking to make the squad for the Villa game.
The Millers left for the capital this morning and will be training at QPR later today. Tonight, they are staying in the same hotel as England’s all-conquering rugby union team who face Italy in the Six Nations on Sunday.
“I’m going to try to track down their coach, Eddie Jones, and find out what is secret is,” Warne grinned.