Cardiff City striker Kenny Miller is hoping to be passed fit to play at Elland Road tomorrow, despite receiving 20 stitches in a head wound last weekend.
The Scotland international played no part in Cardiff’s Carling Cup victory over Burnley on Tuesday night but protective headguard should allow him to feature in their squad against Leeds United.
Miller – a near £1m signing from Turkish club Bursaspor in July – was injured in a clash of heads with team-mate Ben Turner during last Saturday’s 5-3 win over Barnsley.
He required extensive treatment on the cut and was initially doubtful for tomorrow’s meeting with Leeds, but Cardiff manager Malky Mackay expects to have Miller available – provided the club can find suitable protection for him.
While Miller is likely to feature at some stage of the clash at Elland Road, Cardiff will be without the injured Rudy Gestede and the suspended Anthony Gerard.
Mackay said: “Kenny’s eye is coming on a treat and looking much better than it was. The swelling has come way down and he absolutely has a chance of playing.
“We’re trying to come up with some sort of head garment so he can play. It’ll be more like a headband than a mask but if it helps then we’ll use it.
“He’ll have another chat with the doctor but he’s been happy with the way the cut has gone.
“The gentleman who stitched him did an excellent job. Kenny was lying on the treatment table with blood pouring everywhere and had it not been someone as skilled as the doctor then there’s a suggestion that he would have needed plastic surgery.
“the job was fantastic and because of that the healing process has been good. Fingers crossed he’ll be involved at Leeds.”
Miller was one of Cardiff’s most high-profile summer recruits and scored his fourth goal of the season in City’s win over Barnsley.
The victory kept Mackay’s squad within touching distance of the Championship play-off zone and Cardiff’s meeting with Leeds begins a spell of games for the Bluebirds against three sides above them in the table.
City will meet Derby County and Crystal Palace before the Championship season pauses for its third international break.
“We’ve got three teams above us next up but the table chops and changes so much,” Mackay said.
“Leeds have done very well so tomorrow’s a tough start to a tough run of games.
“Elland Road is somewhere I loved going to as a player because the atmosphere was always great. It has not been any different as a manager so I’m looking forward to it. I embraced it in the past and I’ll tell my players to do the same.”
Mackay, meanwhile, refused to give special heed to United’s leading scorer, Ross McCormack, as the former Cardiff striker prepares for an appearance against his old club.
Mackay said: “I don’t know him personally but I know he did well here, did well for Motherwell and is doing well at Leeds.
“Having been down in the Championship for 15 years, you end up bumping into guys you played with all the time.
“I’m sure it’ll be good for them to say hello but I’m not certain if it really adds any extra spice.
“There’s supposed to be a rule in football that you score against your old club. But then we have Stephen McPhail.”