Blackburn Rovers have been dealt another injury blow after Tony Mowbray confirmed that Joe Rankin-Costello will spend more time on the sidelines.
The versatile 21-year-old was substituted after 76 minutes in the 1-1 draw with Luton Town yesterday, hobbling off to be replaced by Ryan Nyambe.
And the diagnosis was pretty clear, with Rankin-Costello picking up an injury that he has already been suffering from for a while and just seemingly isn’t going away.
“Joe’s done his hamstring,” Mowbray told the media following the draw.
“It’s been a repetitive injury for Joe. As a young boy who’s come from the Academy I think the intensity of work at first-team level has probably found him out a little bit.
“It’s the third or fourth time his hamstring has given him grief and it’s something we have to get on top of.
“We like Joe Rankin-Costello and yet it’s a real frustration for us as we have to pick up the intensity and then all of a sudden his hamstring goes.
“Maybe the jump from where he’s come from in 23’s football to where he’s come to in the first-team is catching his body out a bit.
“There is some work to be done on the development of his body to make sure he doesn’t keep breaking down.”
Naturally a midfielder, Rankin-Costello is seen as one of the most exciting youngsters on the books at Ewood Park, and has been a regular in both full back positions this season.
However he could now be out from anywhere between a couple of weeks and a few months depending on what damage he has done to the hamstring – and from Mowbray’s words it seems like he needs a prolonged rest.
An injury to a starting player is the last thing Tony Mowbray needed, especially as they travel to Lancashire rivals Preston North End in midweek.
Rankin-Costello has been more favoured by the manager ahead of a natural right back in Nyambe in recent times, but the Namibian is more than good enough to come in from the cold for an important game.
The Rovers medical staff will need to get to the bottom of the youngster’s hamstring issues immediately though, as the same injury over and over again at such an age cannot be good for Rankin-Costello’s development whatsoever.