Joe Hilton has returned to Rovers after his three match emergency loan at Fleetwood Town.

The League One side are unable to extend the deal during a transfer window, but hope to have Alex Cairns back from a period of self-isolation ahead of the League One clash with Wigan Athletic this weekend.

Joel Coleman is too nearing a return from injury, with Fleetwood having gone without a substitute goalkeeper in their most recent matches.

Hilton was loaned to the Cod Army just hours before their Papa John’s Trophy game with Hull City. That was a senior debut for the 21-year-old who has been with Rovers since his move from Everton in 2019.

After the 3-2 defeat at Hull City, who also took the gloves for the weekend’s home defeat to Portsmouth and last night’s 3-1 reverse at MK Dons.

There he came up against former Rovers’ goalkeeper Andy Fisher who has established himself as No.1 for Russell Martin’s side since his deadline day move back in October.

Jayson Leutwiler was on the books at Fleetwood, and played 18 times following his free transfer move, but with his deal up for renewal this month, they opted against extending it.

And with Coleman still out injured, and Cairns forced to self-isolate, it left them without a senior goalkeeper, leading to them turning to Hilton on a seven-day emergency loan.

Hilton will now compete with Antonis Stergiakis and Jordan Eastham for the gloves for Rovers Under-23s who are back in action on Monday when they travel to Manchester City. He is yet to feature for the Under-23s since February after time out injured.