Inspirational captain Morgan on way back

Millers captain Craig Morgan
Millers captain Craig Morgan
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RoTHERHAM UNITED’S treatment room has cleared somewhat and Steve Evans is expecting further good news on the injury front shortly with the return of captain Craig Morgan early next month.

The former Peterborough United centre-half underwent an operation to remove some floating bone in a toe recently and should be available again in just over a weeks’ time.

Evans, who welcomes former club Crawley this afternoon, said: “Craig will be back training a week to 10 days after Monday, so he’s absolutely flying.

“I have always said that Craig is not only an inspirational captain for me and a man I have the utmost respect for, but he’s a top player, too.

“We need him back; he’s our captain and a big player.”

Evans has Kari Arnason back in the fray today following illness, which has seen him shed three to four kilograms, while veteran defender Claude Davis is available after suspension.

The Millers could hand a debut to Richie Smallwood, who has joined on loan from Middlesbrough for the rest of the season, with it being a case of ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’ for Evans, who has landed him at the third time of asking.

Evans beat off competition from Yeovil and Bristol City and several sides grouped with them at the top end of League One to land the Redcar-born player, 23, who is out of contract this summer.

On his long-term hopes of signing Smallwood, who has played 13 Championship games for Boro this term, he added: “I have spoken to several managers who have worked with him and they have all said extremely positive things and said if we could convince him to come, he’d be a great signing.

“He’s a good player and we always like to work longer than two, three, four months with good players – absolutely.

“It’s not any secret with Richie’s situation that his contract is up in the summer. I personally think Midldesbrough will re-engage him and offer him another contract. Therefore, it will be about what he does here as to whether we will be in the race to sign him.”