Jake Cooper no longer set for shoulder surgery – as Millwall chief reveals op would not greatly reduce risk of injury happening again


Jake Cooper could be back in Millwall’s squad for tomorrow’s match at Barnsley – with the centre-back now not set to require surgery on his dislocated shoulder.

The Lions had initially been aiming to hold off on an operation – which would have ruled Cooper out for three months – until the close season.

But he went to see a specialist on Monday who indicated that going under the knife would not dramatically improve the chances of the injury not happening again.

“Even with surgery there is a percentage risk of redoing it,” said Millwall boss Gary Rowett. “And that isn’t far off the chances of where we are now. It is a case of strengthening and making sure the muscles are tough and resilient around it.

“It’s fabulous news that Coops doesn’t need an operation. Coops being Coops he will be in this morning [Thursday] saying he feels fine and it [the shoulder] feels really strong: ‘Why can’t I play this weekend?’ We have to balance off the player’s wishes and what is best for the player longer term.

“I suppose technically he will be available, it is whether we risk him at this point. It’s probably unlikely.

“The general consensus was that he needed two to three weeks strengthening – it’s probably 10 days by this weekend, so just short of the ideal. Jake is an excellent athlete – he has shown that with his prolonged run of games. If anyone can be back quicker it will be him.

“If I had 30 players fit then I’d be giving him the full three weeks, but because I haven’t it always tempts you into thinking ‘could he play?’”

Maikel Kieftenbeld was due to train yesterday.

The Dutch midfielder has missed the last four league matches with a hamstring strain.

“My gut feeling is that the weekend will be too soon,” said Rowett.

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