GARY Rowett has confirmed that Tom Bradshaw will be ruled out for “three or four weeks” through injury.
The striker pulled up in the first minute of Tuesday’s Carabao Cup defeat away at Cambridge United after skying a shot out of the stadium. In the process, he managed to injure his groin and had to be replaced by Isaac Olaofe.
While Rowett had previously hoped that the injury wasn’t serious, he has since revealed that the 30-year-old could miss up to a month of action while he recovers, with the Lions set to play six Championship matches before the end of August.
Speaking ahead of his side’s away game against Sheffield United, the Millwall boss summarised the club’s current selection crisis.
“Obviously [George] Honeyman is out of the game through suspension, which is a blow for us. Zian [Flemming] is going to be maybe two or three weeks, Bradders looks more like three or four weeks.
“We’ve started the season with a bang. I don’t know why I’m complaining because we should be used to it by now after we’ve had 12 months of it!
“At this stage of the season, if you can’t cope with two or three players missing then you’ve got an unbalanced squad that isn’t strong enough. We’ll have to cope with it, but of course you’re always going to miss one or two key players.
“I’m sure Sheffield United will be in the same boat, they’ll have one or two key players not available, and you’ve got to cope with it.”
When asked how Bradshaw’s absence would impact the way his team set up, Rowett admitted that it would cause some issues ahead of Millwall’s trip to Bramall Lane.
“It’s an interesting one, because if you look at the team we selected for the first game, we wanted a team with energy to really go and press and get up against the ball to make it very difficult for Stoke. We felt we could pressure them into mistakes.
“There was also some very good play in and around it, and that type of team, from time to time, might need a little more creativity at home to take that gamble, and we’ve got those players available. But away from home, sometimes that’s exactly what you want.
“That’s the frustration for me,” he added. “That team would’ve been perfectly set up to play Sheffield United and now we’ve got to adjust that slightly. Tom’s a big factor in that.
“He presses so well, he harries, he runs the channel, he gets you up the pitch, he gets that territory for you. He’s really started to look a goal threat for the last 12 months where maybe before he didn’t have that confidence. I’ve been really pleased for him and he’s got a good relationship with Benik [Afobe].
“To have him miss out straight away is disappointing, but he’s a bubbly character and he’ll see the positives in it. We have to see the positive in it, which is that we give other players an opportunity.”
Photo: Millwall FC