Paul Warne talks to www.themillers.co.uk...Rotherham United interim boss Paul Warne has revealed that he is likely to be without captain Lee Frecklington for up to a month after he picked an injury up in the all-Yorkshire affair at Leeds United.
The Millers’ caretaker says the former Lincoln City and Peterborough United man may need an operation before he begins the recovery process but is confident that Frecklington, who he considers to be an integral part of his side, will make a speedy recovery.
“He's probably out for three to four weeks and he might have to have an operation on Monday,” Warney told www.themillers.co.uk.
“He's got ligament damage in his ankle from the collision at Leeds late on and unfortunately it looks like we'll be missing Frecks for a few games.
“That's sad for me because he's a big driving force in the middle of the park for us. It's a big loss but his quick in his recovery and I think he'll be back pretty sharp.
“Obviously you want your best players fit and I regard Frecks as one of my best players.”
However, this week has seen two faces boost Warne’s options in midfielder following the recall of Richie Smallwood and the return of Chris Dawson, whose loan at Viking FK expired recently.
The Millers’ interim manager says he has been pleased with the former of the two since his return to first team training and insists he fully understands the challenges that face him to establish a place in his starting 11.
“I've got options in midfield. Richie has come back and he's trained really well and he had his angry side on today which is always nice to see, so we do have options,” Warne continued.
“They have done well and when I pulled Richie back this week I met him for a coffee and I explained that to him. I said you're coming back because you're a Rotherham player but I want you to understand that you're coming back to fight for your place.
“I'm not guaranteeing you play every week or this week, but if you come back and you're the best in training then you'll keep your shirt and Richie is a good pro that understands that and he's happy with that challenge.
“Whether I use him on Saturday I don't know but he is good to have around the place and he's infectious. His energy is there and he's got a good history at the club and has a good relationship with the fans and will give the place a boost.”
Also on the injured list is long-term absentee Jonson Clarke-Harris, but following a return to training, Warne has been happy with his early progress, despite admitting there is still plenty of hard miles ahead of him.
“He's doing a lot of work but he's got a lot of fitness work to do,” he explained.
“Jono is one of those who trains with a ball. He finds running drills difficult but with Jono, as long as he's shooting, he'll do anything.
“I think he's six to eight weeks away from a game but these next few weeks are crucial for him and he has to knuckle down and get himself in a real good, physical shape.
“At the moment he's doing quite well, he's striking the ball well and his finishing is coming on but there's a lot of physicality ahead of him."