Millwall manager Gary Rowett has revealed that defender Shaun Hutchinson and striker Matt Smith could both miss the rest of this season due to injury.
Hutchinson was forced off just over half-an-hour into Millwall’s 1-0 win at home to Rotherham on Friday with an apparent calf problem, and it now seems as though Rowett is preparing to be without the centre back for a considerable amount of time.
Providing an update on Hutchinson in the wake of that setback, the Millwall boss was quoted by News at Den as saying: “His calf was tight at the start of the game. I don’t know whether it’s the grounds getting hard around now, the training pitches. It’s a different surface that players are on.
“Hutchy’s calf felt tight and when he went to play the ball forward he felt a bit of a pop. We’ve just got to wait and see [the scan] with that one but I’m sort of preparing for the worst in him not featuring again this season, but who knows.”
Smith meanwhile, has missed his side’s last five games with a broken foot, and it appears he too could be out for a similar length of time.
Discussing the situation surrounding the attacker, Rowett went on to add: “Matt’s more or less been ruled out as well because of the nature of his energy, the length of time needed to recover.
“Even if he came back tomorrow he’d probably need a couple of weeks of fitness work. Therefore we’re really running out of time.”
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So far this season, Smith has made 34 appearances in all competitions for Millwall, scoring five goals.
The 31-year-old is out of contract at The Den at the end of this season, meaning it is possible he has now played his last game for the club.
This will be something of a disappointment for Millwall if it does prove to be the case.
Hutchinson in particular is a key figure in defence for the Lions, and his presence at the back will undoubtedly be missed in the run-in.
With plenty of games still to play in a relatively short space of time as well, losing two seniors players such as these Hutchinson and Smith also restricts Rowett’s scope to rotate, putting a fair amount of physical pressure on the rest of the squad.
Indeed, with Millwall eight points off the top-six with six games to play, losing these two players would also be a blow to any slim remaining hopes the club had of breaking into the top-six places this season.