The injury keeping one of Rotherham United’s key men out of their Championship survival fight is mystifying the Millers, manager Kenny Jackett has revealed.
Kirk Broadfoot hasn’t played since August 6 opening day and the back complaint which has wrecked his season so far is showing no sign of abating.
Many observers believed the centre-half’s issue was now with his foot and that an earlier back problem had been solved, but Jackett told The Star that wasn’t the case.
“It’s his back,” confirmed the new boss who takes his side to Derby County tomorrow. “He’s had a series of injections and we’re waiting for those injections to settle it down. That’s the stage he’s at.
“Kirk isn’t available. It’s a little bit of a mystery exactly where it is. He’s slightly frustrated himself with the injury. But the medical team are working as working as hard as they possibly can to get him back.
“There isn’t a timescale. It’s not something the medical team can give us. His treatment is an ongoing process and hopefully the medical team can get to the bottom of it.”
Exprienced Broadfoot skippered the side last term during the 11-match unbeaten run under Neil Warnock which secured Rotherham’s second-tier safety.
He will be missing at the iPro Stadium against the improving Rams, but fellow central defender Kelvin Wilson and central midfielder Tom Adeyemi are fit after calf injuries.
Captain and midfielder Lee Frecklington has been ruled out of the last two games with an ankle complaint. Jackett said: “Hopefully Lee will be okay.”
Algerian left-back or winger Nadir Belhadj, who played for Portsmouth in the Premier League, is training with the Millers.
The 34-year-old free agent’s last match in England was the 2010 FA Cup Final when Pompey lost 1-0 to Chelsea and he has since played for Al-Sadd in Qatar.
“We’ve discussed him, definitely,” Jackett said. “But we haven’t done anything about it. He’s been training with us. He’s done a day or two. He’s still here now.”
Another free agent, right-back or centre-half Jordan Spence, remains with the club as he builds up his fitness.
Jackett said decisions had been made over the new head of recruitment and scouting network and that an announcement would be made soon.
Meanwhile, Dominic Ball says there is an air of clarity in the Millers camp after Jackett’s arrival last month in place of Alan Stubbs who was sacked after his 13 league games in charge saw the club drop to the foot of the table.
The centre-half, who has also featured in midfield, said the squad had focused on team organisation and shape during the two-week international break.
He said: “He’s (Jackett) been explaining everyone’s individual role in the team. It’s been made clear now what everyone’s individual role is and, as a unit, what everyone’s job is.
When asked if this was a difference between the old regime and new, the 21-year-old added: “Definitely. It’s more clear, that this is exactly how we are going to do things now, this is how we’re going to win games, this is how we’re not going to concede as many goals.
“Before, not everyone actually knew exactly what he (Stubbs) wanted. That was the problem. Now, with the new manager, it’s very clear, very simple - this is your job, you do this, if you do this you’ll stay in the team and we’ll win games.
“There’s no confusion. He has come in and said ‘let’s get back to basics, this is how I want you to do things’.”