Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray has revealed that Scott Wharton is in contention to make his long-awaited return to action in the club’s clash with Sheffield United this weekend.
The defender has been forced to watch on from the sidelines after suffering damage to his Achilles during a clash with Brentford last year.
Wharton opted to commit his future to Blackburn in June by signing a three-year deal and has recently stepped up his rehabilitation from injury by featuring for the club’s Under-23 side in their clashes with Manchester United, Liverpool and Crystal Palace in the Premier League 2 Division 1.
Blackburn are set to be without central-defender Jan Paul van Hecke for tomorrow’s showdown with the Blades as the Dutchman was sent-off during their 7-0 defeat to Fulham on Wednesday.
With Rovers looking to deliver a response to this particular display, it will be intriguing to see whether Mowbray decides to make any significant alterations to his team on Saturday.
Ahead of the club’s meeting with the Blades, Mowbray has shared an update on Wharton’s road to recovery.
Speaking to Lancs Live about the defender, the Blackburn boss said: “I think he has to be in contention.
“He played the other night against Crystal Palace.
“He says he feels fine.
“You see with Joe Rankin-Costello that they’re not really ready to play in the first team yet because they haven’t played enough minutes.
“Scott will fall into that category.
“I don’t know if you watch the 23s games, I do, and he’s a little bit off where he should be because he’s been out for so long, it’s such a bad injury, and yet he’s a warrior and he will be in contention, we’ll wait and see.”
When you consider just how poor Blackburn were in a defensive sense during their meeting with Fulham, it is hardly a surprise that Mowbray is looking into the possibility of handing Wharton his first senior appearance of the season.
The defender managed to show glimpses of his talent in the seven appearances that he made at this level during the previous campaign as he recorded a respectable average WhoScored match rating of 6.74 in the Championship before picking up his issue.
Having stepped up his recovery in recent months, Wharton may feel as if he is ready to feature for the club in their meeting with the Blades.
However, it could be argued that Mowbray ought to consider easing the former Northampton Town loanee back into action in order to minimise the risk of him suffering another injury setback.