Kieffer Moore has been given a 50:50 chance of being fit for Rotherham United’s League One showdown at Bradford City on Saturday after fears that the hitman could be sidelined for several weeks.
The six-goal striker came off an hour into Tuesday’s 5-1 drubbing of Walsall amid worries that the damage to his groin sustained in the second half was serious.
“The news is a little bit more positive in terms of him not being out for a long period of time,” said assistant manager Richie Barker. “I would say there is a 50:50 chance, at best, for the weekend.
“Obviously, you fear the worst when he comes off after an hour or so against Walsall. At that point, you’re thinking it’s going to be weeks. Hopefully, it won’t be weeks. We’ll know more by Friday afternoon. It’s just a tight groin.”
Ironically, Rotherham, who are monitoring wingers Jon Taylor (calf) and Ryan Williams (back), had been planning to substitute Moore early in the second period, to save him for the Yorkshire derby, after building up a 4-0 interval lead.
But they delayed their decision when the Saddlers scored four minutes after the break.
“At half-time, we’d been saying that if we could see off the next 10 or 15 minutes and let the game fizzle out, we would bring him off,” Barker added. “It was just five minutes too long for him.”
The Millers expect to have firmer news tomorrow, with Barker saying: “It’s not even been 48 hours since the game. Usually, that’s when you start to get more knowledge. That’s why we will know more on Friday.”
Despite losing strike partner Jamie Proctor to cruciate knee ligament surgery, 6ft 5in Moore has played so well that Rotherham head to West Yorkshire as the joint top scorers in the third tier with 15 goals in seven matches.
The Millers, up to ninth in the table after three successive wins, checked out a non-league striker in midweek but no deal is imminent.
“There was somebody who was flagged up in non-league,” Barker said. “As far as I know, there is nothing major at the moment.
“It’s our job and responsibility that if there is someone out there we know about it. We are trying to be on the ball with that type of recruitment. It is just one of a number of plates that are spinning at any one time.”
Shaun Cummings is out with a hamstring problem while Josh Emmanuel has only just returned to full training after a toe issue, so Will Vaulks is likely to continue at right-back against the fourth-placed Bantams.
Captain Lee Frecklington, who bagged the first hat-trick of his career against Walsall, can’t wait for the trip to Valley Parade.
“It’s a tough place to go,” he said. “They’re in good form, but we’re in good form as well, so it’s going to be a good test to see exactly how far we have come.
“There’s a good feel about this place at the minute. The last 12 days have been enjoyable. I’ve noticed a difference in the atmosphere in the changing room. The lads are bubblier, happier. That’s what winning football matches does!”