Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray has provided a fitness update on the availability of central defender Daniel Ayala ahead of his side’s clash with Preston North End during an interview with the Lancashire Telegraph.
A summer signing for Rovers, the Spanish centre back has only played three times for the Ewood Park club, with his fledgling career with the Championship outfit having been disrupted by a persistent groin problem.
It has now been revealed however that the former Middlesbrough man could soon be back in the first team reckoning after taking another step towards returning to full training in recent days.
Speaking about the towering stoppers’ availability, Mowbray had this to say:
“Not far away, him and Derrick have been on the grass with the physio department.
“Thursday will be the first training day back for Daniel, Derrick might be a little further behind, but not far away.”
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Ayala is an experienced player at Championship level, having been a key player for both Norwich City and Middlesbrough respectively during his stints at both clubs.
This will come as a welcome boost for Blackburn as they prepare to embark on what will be a demanding and congested winter schedule of Championship football.
Ayala’s experience and quality will no doubt shine through over the next few weeks for Rovers, with the defender having played over 200 games at second tier level.
It will be intriguing to see how the centre back fits into Mowbray’s staring eleven, with Darragh Lenihan and Derrick Williams having formed a sturdy partnership in the 30-year-old’s absence.
A battle between three players for two centre back spots is seemingly set to ensue, giving the former Boro boss a more than welcome selection headache during the hectic winter period.