Millwall boss Gary Rowett has provided an update on Shaun Hutchinson and Jake Cooper after the former missed yesterday’s draw with Blackburn Rovers due to injury.
The Lions skipper started the first two games of the season but was absent from the starting XI and matchday squad yesterday.
Cooper, who missed the season opener against QPR due to a back injury but played the full 90 minutes against Portsmouth in midweek, replaced him in the back three alongside Danny Ballard and Murray Wallace.
Despite dominating for the majority of the game at The Den, Millwall were held to a 1-1 draw by Blackburn yesterday with a Ben Brereton Diaz header cancelling out Jed Wallace’s opener.
Speaking after the game, Rowett provided an update on the absent Hutchinson and the returning Cooper.
“He felt his quad yesterday in training,” he said on the Millwall skipper. “Disappointing really because he’s obviously a big player for us.”
Rowett added: “Murray who would’ve started on the left went into the middle and I think actually played really, really well.
“Simply because we felt Coops has been struggling with his back, had an injection, and I think got through the Portsmouth game maybe not at full capacity but actually today I thought he was much better. He looked like he was moving a lot better.”
The Lions boss didn’t give any indication as to when Hutchinson might return to the side but you feel he would love to have the central defender back for the visit of Fulham on Tuesday evening or at least for the trip to face Cardiff City next weekend.
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Though he’s not offered a return date, Rowett’s update on Hutchinson makes the injury that kept him out against Blackburn not sound too serious and that is certainly good news for the south London club.
Having their captain back for the visit of Fulham could be massive, particularly considering the defensive line are going to have the powerful Aleksandar Mitrovic to deal with.
The returning Cooper helped make up for Hutchinson’s absence yesterday and the back three were pretty resolute all game – with Brereton Diaz’ goal one of just two shots in the whole game and the only one on target.
Rowett’s verdict on the defender’s first Championship display of the season is certainly positive and indicates that it seems the 26-year-old is close to getting back to full fitness and his best.
You feel Millwall will need both Hutchinson and Cooper to be on song this term if they’re to make the play-offs.