Tony Mowbray says there are question marks surrounding Rovers’ central defensive recruitment this summer.

Mowbray says they centre around the fitness of Scott Wharton and also the return of Hayden Carter from his loan spell at Burton Albion.

Carter has caught the eye for the League One side and been a key part of their resurgence since January, but played just once for Rovers in the first half of the season.

Daniel Ayala could make his return after four months out injured for the Under-23s, but Derrick Williams has since moved onto LA Galaxy, while a ruptured Achilles is set to rule out Wharton until at least September.

That could open the door for Carter should he impress in pre-season., but there is the prospect of the 22-year-old being loaned out again should Rovers add to their central defensive ranks in the summer.

“All of those situations are on your mind,” Mowbray said.

“Do we recruit another centre half while Wharton is trying to get fit?

“Can Hayden Carter and do a job he’s been doing very well at his loan club?

“Hayden has been back in the building. There are different demands on him at Burton as to what there would be here, but I like to have a look at them all in pre-season.”

Rovers moved to bring in Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Jarrad Branthwaite on loan in January, the Everton youngster having since returned to his parent club because of injury.

Ayala has managed just nine appearances since signing as a free agent last summer, and Mowbray expects the 30-year-old to play a big role next season, fitness permitting, alongside Lenihan.

Wharton’s season was cut short in December following a serious injury, but made the step up following three successive years out on loan, the 23-year-old proving his worth at first-team level.

Carter will look to do the same, having impressed at Burton, with a year left on his Ewood Park contract, as does Tyler Magloire who is currently plying his trade on loan at Motherwell.