Rotherham are set to take the field for just the second time since November 23 when Port Vale visit on New Year’s Day.
The Millers have been hit hard by the weather with their last three fixtures being called off. But with a recent thaw, there is little doubt over the table-topping clash at Don Valley.
That enforced winter break has at least allowed on-loan defender Danny Coid extra time to recover from a hamstring injury and he should be back in contention.
Skipper Ryan Cresswell, who broke his collarbone three weeks ago, has still yet to miss a game but he will play no part for at least the next month.
The break has also given defender Dale Tonge and on-loan Arsenal midfielder Mark Randall the chance to regain full fitness but with both of them recovering from long-term injuries, neither are expected to make Ronnie Moore’s side.
Managerless Port Vale travel without the guidance of Micky Adams after he agreed to take the reins at Sheffield United on Thursday afternoon.
Assistant manager Geoff Horsfield and head of youth Mark Grew will take charge of team affairs at Don Valley Stadium as the Valiants look to ensure their promotion charge does not become derailed in the process.
Talk of Adams’ departure coincided with Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat at Gillingham – the club’s heaviest league loss of the campaign – although members of Vale’s playing squad have been quick to play down the significance.
Centre-back Gareth Owen recovered from a back injury to start at Priestfield and should do so again, he was flanked by Lee Collins at left-back after he made his first start since November in place of the unfortunate Kris Taylor having recovered from shin splints.
Anthony Griffith was recalled in midfield at the expense of Sean Rigg, but it remains to be seen how Horsfield and Grew will send their charges out after Adams’ departure and the nature of Tuesday’s loss.
Reserve keeper Chris Martin will be assessed having missed out against Gills due to a virus.