THREE of Rotherham United’s long-term injured players are lined up for a return to match action next week.
Goalkeeper Scott Shearer, right-back Dale Tonge and midfielder David Noble are all scheduled to play for the Millers reserves against Stoke City at Parkgate next Wednesday (2pm).
The game was due to be played on Monday but Rotherham have their FA Cup second-round replay with Notts County the following day and so asked for the reserve game to be moved to Wednesday and Stoke agreed.
Shearer and Noble have both been out for two months, their last appearances being in the home defeat by Southend in mid-October. Shearer had a cartilage operation, handing Andy Warrington an opportunity to make the No 1 spot his own, and central midfielder Noble suffered further damage to his ankle.
Tonge damaged ankle ligaments in the opening minute of the home game with Plymouth on October 27.
The game will also see a first appearance for some weeks for striker Kieran Agard who was out for five matches. He has been on the bench in the last two games.
Shearer had been No 1 choice in goal but in his absence veteran Andy Warrington has returned to the side and done well. Shearer was back on the bench last Saturday.
Noble was a regular in the starting line up at the start of the season but was left out after the defeat at Port Vale on September 8 and later damaged an ankle.
Tonge and Noble both returned to full training with the squad this week but manager Steve Evans said they were not under consideration to be in the squad for today’s trip to AFC Wimbledon.
Rotherham, meanwhile, will take the move for midfielder Lee Frecklington a stage further next week.
Millers chairman Tony Stewart and Peterborough United Director of Football Barry Fry are set to have talks again before Christmas in the bid to facilitate a deal.
Frecklington is on loan with the Millers and Evans is keen to make it permanent in January.
“I think it is more likely to happen than not to happen,” said Evans. “I have made no secret of the fact I’d love to have him here. He’s done well, he’s enjoyed it and let’s hope we can get him.”