Striker Michael Smith will play through the pain barrier as an injury crisis has derailed Rotherham’s plans for Wednesday’s visit of Bristol City.
Smith is the only senior striker available against the Robins as Kyle Vassell and Jamie Proctor are injured, with Jerry Yates and David Ball out on loan.
The 26-year-old struggled with a groin injury in the build-up to Saturday’s game with Stoke and has been described as “half-fit” by boss Paul Warne, who has little choice but to select him.
“He is playing through pain a little bit,” Warne said. “Last week he didn’t train on the Thursday, thinking he would come in on Friday and feel fine.
“He came in on Friday in more pain than the day before so he went for a scan.
“He was anxious because he has never had a muscle injury before so he was fearful that if he played and it got worse he could be out for a longer period of time.
“He had the scan and it came back all clear, he has a lot of fluid in his groins so he was happy to play because there was no chance of any long-term damage and if there was I wouldn’t risk him.
Bad news for Rotherham ahead of Bristol City as PW reveals more injury woe as a "big player" will be out in addition to others #rufc
— jvmiller (@jvmiller83) October 2, 2018
“He played in pain on Saturday but I thought he played really well, he moved really well.
“He couldn’t get out of bed the next day but we’re just asking for two more massive efforts off him.
“He is pain but it is not like he is crying or anything, he just takes some painkillers and gets on with it.”
It’s a case of needs must for the Millers with six players occupying the injury room and Zak Vyner ineligible to play against his parent club.
Richard Wood has been declared fit, despite coming off against Stoke, but Kyle Vassell, Jamie Proctor and an unnamed player will not feature against the Robins.
Warne is not willing to reveal the name of the newly injured player, only to describe him as “big”.
“I have got another injury crisis, I have got a big player missing whose name I don’t want to say,” the boss said.
“Initially we thought it was serious, but hopefully that player will be available for the weekend.
“He got scanned, he won’t be available for Wednesday for sure. It’s a blow for us and you’ll see it’s a blow when you see the teamsheet but that’s the way it is.”
That disappointment is offset by skipper Richard Wood’s likely fitness as the groin injury which saw him limp off against Stoke will not keep him out of the AESSEAL New York Stadium clash, while Michael Smith, the only remaining senior striker, is playing through the pain barrier.
To make matters wholly worse for the Millers, Zak Vyner is unavailable against his parent club.
Warne added: “It is a little bit of a crisis to be honest, if you go in our treatment room there is a lot of senior pros in there. They are big players for us, it is a bit of a problem.
“As long as I have got 11 fit I am happy. I have got a great team I can put out.”