Having David Worrall back from injury will be like a new signing, claims Rotherham United boss Steve Evans.
The winger, signed for from Bury in the summer, has been out of action since mid-August. He recently had a minor operation to repair a hernia problem.
But Evans, whose side face MK Dons this afternoon, says Worrall is edging closer to a first-team return.
He hopes the 23-year-old will resume training a week on Monday. Worrall will need to play a couple of reserve matches before he can be considered for selection.
“David was a big signing for us,” Evans told The Star. “We paid nearly six figures for the kid. We had just got him to work to our style before he got injured. I thought he was exceptional when he came on at Crawley and got the winner there but he’s not played a minute since then. When David comes back, it will be like a new signing.”
It is not beyond the realms of possibility Evans will hand Michael O’Connor a start at the stadium:mk. The Scot thought the midfielder was “terrific” in their behind closed doors friendly defeat at Leeds United in midweek.
O’Connor was among the substitutes as Rotherham slumped to a 4-0 loss at home to Swindon Town last weekend but Evans has stressed that there was no “real prospect” of him getting a run-out at the New York Stadium.
The midfielder has been troubled by a groin problem since returning from international duty. Evans added: “If we can get David [Worrall] and Michael [O’Connor] back and firing, that would be fantastic.”
On loan Bolton Wanderers striker Tom Eaves is pressing for a start after recovering from stomach ulcers but Claude Davis (hamstring) will not make the trip. “I’m not a manager who likes to make excuses but we were missing Kari Arnason, O’Connor Claude Davis and Worrall against Swindon,” said Evans, who is looking to bring in further reinforcements on loan.
“They are big game players for us.”
Since gaining promotion, Rotherham are unbeaten on the road, winning three out of their five away fixtures but Evans believes the club’s meeting with the Dons represents their “hardest test” of the campaign so far.