Neil Redfearn's Preston North End team news...Rotherham United boss Neil Redfearn will be without duo Frazer Richardson and Leon Best for Saturday’s trip to Preston North End and will await news on the fitness of experienced defender Stephen Kelly ahead of the clash with the Lilywhites.
The Millers face their first test of the New Year as they travel to Deepdale to take on Simon Grayson’s Preston and will be forced to make at least one change to the 11 that started in the capital on Tuesday night against Fulham with Richardson ruled out.
“Frazer has got a problem in that he has got a concussion. He was knocked out at the time and he collided with Lee and caught his knee full flush in the face and was out for a few seconds,” Redfearn told www.themillers.co.uk
“There’s a precaution that comes with that and we have to take the advice of the medics because what we can’t do is to take a chance with somebody’s health.
“Frazer will be out for about a week while that settles down which is a shame because he’s come back in and done well. He did well against Bolton and he did okay again the other night against Fulham.”
Meanwhile, Republic of Ireland international Kelly will have his progress closely observed ahead of the short hop to Lancashire with Redfearn keen to get the former Reading defender back in contention for a place in the squad.
“Again, Stephen is somebody we will have to monitor. We’ll have to see on Friday if he is anywhere near where we need him to be but again he’s a player that is important to us,” he explained.
“The three games he’s actually turned out in, even though he has not completed some of them, we have kept clean sheets. He’s an experienced lad and one we could do back with sooner rather than later.”
The return of Richard Wood from a loan spell at Chesterfield means that Redfearn’s defensive options are bolstered as the Millers boss has the former Sheffield Wednesday defender’s services at his disposal for the first time since his temporary switch to Derbyshire.
“Richard has come back because we’re struggling a little bit with injuries and bumps and knocks and the squad is a bit thin.
“He was somebody that we were thinking of bringing back anyway because he’s someone we’ve not had chance to look at. If you look at his pedigree he’s played at a good standard for a long period of time and he’s been out and got some games which is good for him but I think now he is somebody we can bring back into the fold and add competition for places,” Redfearn added.
“He’s got the bit between his teeth and he’ll want to force his way back in.”
Leon Best remains unavailable and is scheduled to undergo an operation on a groin injury that could rule him out for the next couple of weeks, but the rest of the squad is in a clean bill of health ahead of the Millers’ first action of 2016.
“The important thing for us was that the lads rested up and we put them back together, particularly the lads that started. The rest of the group has had a good session today and we’ve trained hard and we’ll do a little bit now towards Preston."