Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray has suggested that defender Darragh Lenihan has not suffered a fracture to his ribs following a scan after the 26-year-old missed Rovers’ 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest.
Mowbray’s defensive options have been stretched to the limit in the last few matches with the likes of Daniel Ayala, Derrick Williams and Scott Wharton all also out injured. That meant that Blackburn had to revert to the inexperienced pairing of Jarrad Branthwaite and Taylor Harwood-Bellis in the defeat away to Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
Lenihan had been an influential performer for Blackburn so far this campaign with the defender having started 27 of Rovers’ 30 Championship matches (Sofascore). However, he missed out on the trip to the City Ground with a rib injury. While there was further bad news on the injury front with Ryan Nyambe picking up a hamstring injury while Sam Gallagher was also taken to hospital.
Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph after the loss at Forest, Mowbray revealed that Lenihan’s injury is not as bad as first feared and he has not suffered a fracture to his ribs. Instead, he revealed he just has bad bruising although there was no timescale issues on a potential return.
He said: “Lenihan has a rib issue. He’s had a scan to see if there’s a fracture. It doesn’t look as though there is, just some pretty severe bruising of his ribs.”
This is more encouraging news for Blackburn, with Lenihan at least having avoided a fracture that might have kept him out for a longer period. The last thing Rovers needed was another player to be ruled out for a prolonged period given all the other issues they are facing on the injury front and so this will come as a bit of a relief.
Lenihan was another major absentee for them against Forest, and they missed his reliable and calming presence in the heart of their defence at times as their losing run continued. The 26-year-old has at times this term held the back four together and he has averaged 1.4 tackles, 1.7 interceptions and 3.6 clearances per game to help Rovers keep eight clean sheets (Sofascore).
The defender could return to action sooner now than he would have done had it been a fracture to his ribs, although Mowbray did not say whether he could return to action against Watford on Wednesday night. Blackburn need him to return as soon as possible though.