ADAM Henley has been ruled out of action until mid to late February with a hamstring injury – but Rovers look set to give Ipswich the opportunity to extend Bradley Orr’s loan spell until the end of the season.
Henley’s absence will leave Rovers short of options at right back, with central midfielder Jason Lowe now expected to move back into defence, but the Lancashire Telegraph understands there are no plans to bring Orr back into the Ewood Park frame.
Caretaker management duo Gary Bowyer and Terry McPhillips are exploring the option of strengthening in midfield and defensively in the loan market this month, but it is believed they will face resistance from the club’s hierarchy, who are not expecting much transfer activity.
Rovers also yesterday rejected a bid for Martin Olsson from West Ham, understood to be in the region of £2m, and are bracing themselves for further interest in the full back.
Gael Givet, Paul Robinson and Scott Dann are all understood to be the subject of interest from rival clubs, although no official bids have been made, but Rovers are determined to keep the majority of their squad intact.
Henley’s enforced absence is a blow to Rovers’ Championship play-off hopes as, with Givet’s continued absence, it leaves Bowyer facing a severe defensive shortage.
The 18-year-old limped out of Rovers’ FA Cup victory over Bristol City in the first half on Saturday and, after a scan yesterday morning, is facing a four to six-week absence.
Academy product Ryan Edwards is expected to be handed his first involvement in the senior squad imminently, after Rovers rejected Rochdale’s attempt to extend his loan spell and instead brought him back to Ewood.
Lowe’s expected positional switch will also leave a central midfield shortage, with Danny Murphy and Morten Gamst Pedersen the only recognised senior players currently available in that position, with Dickson Etuhu still struggling with injury.
Right back Orr was open to returning to Ewood Park when his Ipswich loan spell came to an end later this month, having been frozen out under former Rovers boss Henning Berg, but is believed not to be in the club’s long term plans.
Reports linking Rovers with a loan move for Manchester United defender Scott Wootton are understood to be wide of the mark.