What Rotherham United boss Leam Richardson had to say about Northern Ireland international Shane Ferguson's Championship return

ROTHERHAM UNITED manager Leam Richardson has spoken of his delight at seeing Shane Ferguson cast aside his nightmare time in 2023-24 to make his first-team comeback on Saturday – while adding a note of caution.

The Northern Ireland international, 32, who had been sidelined all season after undergoing three operations in a bid to correct a series of hernia issues, came on as a 79th-minute substitute for Peter Kioso in Saturday’s 1-0 Championship home loss to Watford.

It was one crumb of consolation for the Millers, who succumbed to their fourth successive loss and saw their winless sequence extend to nine matches in all competitions.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Ferguson’s previous first-team appearance had come in last season’s safety-clinching 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough at the AESSEAL New York Stadium on May 1.

Rotherham United's Shane Ferguson.Rotherham United's Shane Ferguson.
Rotherham United's Shane Ferguson.

The former Millwall man was given the green light to step up his comeback plans last month when he was allowed to do some outdoor fitness work at the clubs Roundwood training base ahead of putting himself back in the fray for first-team contention.

Richardson, whose bottom-placed side face a long and teak-tough trip to high-flying Ipswich Town on Tuesday evening, said: "Shane has been out for nine months. He’s worked terrifically hard.

"He’s obviously been frustrated as players are. Once they get given back from the physios, they think they are going straight on the pitch.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"But we have got to be mindful that he’s been out for nine months. We don’t want to lose him again to something small when we have got so many games left.

"He’s been fantastic and is a great person. He works terrifically hard to get back up and running and it was great to see him on the pitch.”