A new injury setback has put centre-half Kirk Broadfoot’s long-awaited Rotherham United return on hold.
The Millers, who travel to Birmingham City tonight, had hoped the defender was only days away from making his comeback after recovering from back surgery which had kept him out since early August.
But the 32-year-old has been hit by a foot problem that has forced him to stop training and the club are unable to put a time frame on his recovery.
“It’s been frustrating for him,” manager Alan Stubbs told The Star. “He’s got over his back injury but he’s been getting a pain in his foot.
“He’s been to see a foot specialist and we’re hoping that it just settles down. The surgeon seems to think that it will do.
“We may need to look at providing Kirk with some orthotics to try to alter the balance of his foot and raise the instep to try to take the pressure off where he’s feeling the pain.
“He’s not training. We’ll have to wait and see how it settles down.”
Rotherham, who are bottom of the Championship after 12 matches, head to St Andrews on the back of five successive losses. Defeat in the Midlands would mean a seventh straight away reverse since the start of the season.
Striker Dexter Blackstock grabbed his first goal for the club after coming off the bench in last Saturday’s 3-1 loss at Norwich City, but Stubbs is likely to resist the temptation to pair him up front with leading scorer Danny Ward.
“The tendency would be to see how Wardy and Dex do together, but I think first and foremost we need to be harder to beat,” the Millers boss said.
“We need a solidity to us and to be harder to beat, and if that means putting an extra man in midfield then that is something we have to think about.”