Blackburn Rovers ace Rhodes could still face Charlton
BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer says top scorer Jordan Rhodes has a fighting chance of being fit for next Saturday’s visit of Charlton Athletic to Ewood Park.
Rhodes yesterday pulled out of the Scotland squad for their World Cup qualifier with Croatia on Tuesday after suffering a groin strain.
But Bowyer hopes a week of intensive treatment from the Rovers medical team will see the nine-goal striker right for the clash with the struggling Addicks.
Bowyer said: “He’s got a bit of a grade one on his groin so he’s had to withdraw from the squad and we’re just hoping to get him right for the Charlton game.
“By grade one I mean it’s a slight groin injury. It’s not massive but we’ve got to make sure we assess him and get him fit.
“He’s under the care of our medical team and he’ll be in for treatment over the weekend as we have to try and get him ready, hopefully for Charlton.”
Rhodes, the joint leading marksman in the Championship, was supposed to meet up with the Scotland squad on Wednesday.
However he never travelled after sustaining the injury.
There was better news for Bowyer yesterday when striker DJ Campbell returned to full training for the first time since damaging ligaments in his ankle in pre-season.
The Rovers chief said: “He didn’t do it all, he just did a bit, and after the weekend’s gone he’ll be looking to kick on again.
“He’s in for a tough couple of days catching up but he looked sharp in the bits of possession that we did.”
Captain Scott Dann, having missed Sunday’s defeat at Wigan, and midfielder Dickson Etuhu, after suffering a minor setback in his comeback from long-term injury, were out running with the Rovers squad yesterday.
Bowyer has been delighted by how his players have responded to the last-gasp loss to the Latics.
He said: “When they came back in on Tuesday I thought we might have to lift them given the manner of the defeat.
“As a staff we spoke about being ready to do that as soon as they came in.
"But credit to them, they’ve been very good in appreciating the situation and they weren’t despondent at all.
“Because of the way they went about their work for the whole game – and particularly after the sending off – it wouldn’t have surprised us if they had (been despondent).
“But they quickly had smiles back on their faces.
“Everyone was gutted by the result but the players realised there were a lot of positives to take out of the game.
“The challenge now is to replicate the fighting spirit they shown.”
Rovers are not in action this weekend.