Sam Morsy will be excused duty against Millwall this weekend – to ensure the Wigan Athletic skipper is available to lead the club into next season.
The 27-year-old was left out of last weekend’s draw at Birmingham having picked up his 14th booking of the campaign against Preston in the previous game.
One more caution would trigger a three-match ban – which would be held over into next season.
And while boss Paul Cook was prepared to field Morsy against Millwall on Sunday if the game had anything riding on it, Rotherham’s relegation at the weekend means no chances will be taken.
“It’s something we’ve given a lot of thought to,” revealed the Latics boss.
“And these situations are things you have to manage with everyone’s best interests in mind.
“He’s on 14 bookings now, and another would carry a three-game booking into next season, which obviously we don’t want.”
Prior to his caution against Preston, Morsy had gone eight matches without having his name taken.
That came after a sit-down chat between player and manager – to try to find a way of managing the situation better.
“Sammy’s shown he can maintain that competitive streak while avoiding the bookings that had been coming his way,” Cook recognised.
“I think one of the best things about Sammy is his appetite to win football matches.
“And I wouldn’t say he’s too dissimilar to Ben Pearson at Preston in that.
“From time to time that appetite can boil over, but we felt some of Sammy’s bookings were not correct – they could have been avoided.”
Having been Cook’s captain at both Wigan and Chesterfield, it’s clear how highly-thought of the Egyptian international is.
And Cook has revealed for the first time their partnership goes back even further.
“Sammy’s captain for a reason – and I can’t speak highly enough of him as a player and as a lad,” he added.
“We paid £5,000 for him from Port Vale, and I’d been lucky enough to see a lot of him as a kid because he went to the same school as my son, Liam.
“They played in the same school team for years, and to say Sammy’s not changed one bit would give you a little insight for our supporters!
“Sammy was exactly the same as a 12/13 year old as he is now - except he didn’t stay on the field as long back then as he does now.
“He’s always had that competitive streak, but he’s always had that quality about him as well.”