Birmingham City manager Lee Bowyer has confirmed that Gary Gardner missed yesterday’s clash with Blackburn Rovers due to the fact that the midfielder recently contracted Covid-19.
Gardner’s final day of self-isolation was on Saturday and thus he is set to be in contention to make his return to action when the Blues face Fulham next weekend.
In the midfielder’s absence, Birmingham were outclassed by Blackburn as they suffered a 4-0 defeat at Ewood Park.
John Buckley opened the scoring for the hosts in the sixth minute as he fired past Blues goalkeeper Matija Sarkic.
Blackburn doubled their advantage following the break as Reda Khadra netted his third goal of the season.
Ben Brereton Diaz then bagged a brace for Tony Mowbray’s side who eased to victory in-front of their own supporters.
As a result of this defeat, Birmingham slipped to 17th in the Championship standings.
Making reference to Gardner, Bowyer admitted that the midfielder was unable to feature in yesterday’s clash due to the protocols surrounding Covid-19.
Speaking to the Birmingham Mail about the 29-year-old, the Blues boss said: “Gary caught Covid and his last isolation day was today [Saturday], so he hasn’t trained for ten days.”
When you consider that Jordan James has managed to show glimpses of promise in the heart of midfield in recent weeks, Gardner may find it difficult to force his way back into Birmingham’s starting eleven.
Having recently served a four-match suspension for a red-card that he picked up during the Blues’ 2-0 defeat to Hull City, the midfielder will be determined to prove his worth to Bowyer after letting his side down last month.
Currently averaging a relatively underwhelming WhoScored match rating of 6.56 in the Championship, Gardner will need to improve his consistency at this level if he is to make a positive impact in the second-half of the 2021/22 campaign.
By impressing in training in the coming days, Gardner may be handed the opportunity to showcase his ability in Birmingham’s upcoming clash with Fulham at Craven Cottage as Bowyer could be looking to make some alterations to his side for this fixture.