Rotherham boss Paul Warne is adamant Darren Potter still has a role to play at the club despite his injury nightmare.
The 33-year-old midfielder has been out since the beginning of last December with an Achilles injury which required surgery in the summer.
He is not expected to be back until February, by which time he will have just four months left on his contract.
But boss Warne reckons Potter has plenty still to offer the Millers in a Championship.
“I don’t know the long-term prognosis,” Warne told the Star. “I just know he should be there for the turn of the year.
“As good as Semi [Ajayi]would be as a sitting midfielder, in this league it suits Pottsy above everyone else really.
“I am hopeful come the turn of the year, I will have him back and he will give me another selection headache.
“He is still a very good player, he was excellent for us prior to him getting injured and unfortunately for him he suits this league more than all our other players.
“He would be a really controlling factor and it would allow me to do other things with other players so I am looking forward to him coming back but I don’t want to talk it up too much unless he has any other problems.”
Aged 33 and potentially being on the sidelines for up to 14 months could spell trouble for plenty of professionals.
Warne knows something about longevity, however, having played until he was almost 40 and he thinks Potter has many more years to come.
“It is his Achilles so it is one of the hardest injuries to get over because you can’t get blood to the area like a muscle injury,” the boss added.
“But he is progressing well, the physio said he is pain free so hopefully over the next five or six weeks we will know the outcome a bit more but I am hopeful come January he will train with the first team.
“He has been out 11 months, so it isn’t easy. He wants to come back and play and I still think he has years left in him because he looks after himself well.”
“I am not ageist because I played until I was 39. The fact he is 33 shouldn’t affect him but obviously the body does take longer to repair the older you get.
“I am definitely not writing him off because in my head he is coming back in the new year.”