Wise in Italy for treatment as final hopes fade

There was a significant absentee when Millwall welcomed the press to the Den yesterday: Dennis Wise, their player-manager. Wise has often had a fractious relationship with the national media but his excuse was all-too real. He was in Italy receiving emergency treatment on a leg injury, believed to be a calf problem. His chances of making Saturday's FA Cup final against Manchester United are described as "hopeful" at best.

There was a significant absentee when Millwall welcomed the press to the Den yesterday: Dennis Wise, their player-manager. Wise has often had a fractious relationship with the national media but his excuse was all-too real. He was in Italy receiving emergency treatment on a leg injury, believed to be a calf problem. His chances of making Saturday's FA Cup final against Manchester United are described as "hopeful" at best.

Ray Wilkins, Wise's assistant manager, explained: "Dennis has had a slight relapse on a problem he's had over the last couple of weeks. He's getting alternative treatment and we are only hopeful he will be OK."

The "alternative treatment" is massage delivered by an Italian specialist sports masseur Wise previously consulted prior to Chelsea's European Cup-Winners' Cup final in 1998. On that occasion Wise made the game, which Chelsea won. Wilkins added: "Dennis had a muscular problem then and went to this guy Luca Vialli [then Chelsea manager] knew. Within four days he was sound as a pound. The years are ebbing away as far as his footballing career is concerned so he's desperate to play in what will probably be his last FA Cup final."

It would be the 37-year-old's fifth FA Cup final. Should Millwall win Wise would become the first player to lift the trophy with three different clubs after past triumphs with Wimbledon and Chelsea.

The First Division side's chances of doing so, already slim, will be further hampered by Wise's injury. With Danny Dichio suspended and Kevin Muscat and Andy Roberts injured he is the only remaining player with big-match experience.

Wise, who has missed Millwall's last two matches, will rejoin his team in Cardiff tomorrow. "It will be his decision whether he plays," Wilkins said. "He won't if it's going to hinder the efforts of the side but he's a massive influence. To lose him would be like United losing Roy Keane."

Keane has himself been doubtful but he successfully came through a training session at Carrington yesterday. The United captain has been struggling to shake off a hamstring injury and missed United's last three games. Providing Keane suffers no reaction he will now play in his sixth FA Cup final this weekend, a figure exceeded only by Arthur Kinnaird, who played nine finals for Wanderers and Old Etonians. Phil Neville is most likely to make way, though the places of Darren Fletcher and John O'Shea could also be in jeopardy.

Millwall would love such a dilemma. With at least 11 players missing through injury or suspension Curtis Weston, a 17-year-old midfielder, has been added to the travelling party. He has made one previous appearance, as a substitute in Saturday's final League game. Wilkins added: "We have some very talented young men at the club and they wouldn't be at the club if we weren't prepared to put them in.

"It would be extremely difficult if everyone was available. But we have a collective spirit and a chance of bringing the trophy back."

Sport
premier leagueLive: All the latest news and scores from today's matches
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
News
Queen Elizabeth II sends the first royal tweet under her own name to declare the opening of the new Information Age Galleries at the Science Museum, South Kensington, London
media... and the BBC was there to document one of the worst reactions
News
politics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker