Tony Mowbray has a number of decisions to weigh up ahead of this weekend’s return to action – but is set to be boosted by the return to fitness of Darragh Lenihan.

The Rovers captain missed defeats against Huddersfield Town and Blackpool with a thigh issue, but the prognosis on that being a two-week absence which should see the Irishman return to lead the side out against Coventry City.

Scott Wharton played his first game in 10 months in a behind-closed-doors fixture with Manchester United last week, following surgery on a ruptured Achilles, with Joe Rankin-Costello also featuring.

The pair are both expected to feature against the same opposition, albeit a purely Under-23s side, on Saturday when they meet in Premier League 2.

Lenihan’s expected return leaves Mowbray with a call to make on Brighton loanee Jan Paul van Hecke as to whether he makes the bench against Coventry or gets more minutes under his belt for the Under-23s.

The Dutchman has declared himself ready for action, but with Ryan Nyambe also back in contention after missing the Blackpool defeat with concussion, plus Hayden Carter and Tyler Magloire options in reserve, Rovers could look to give Van Hecke more game-time for Mike Sheron’s side.

Lenihan has proven himself to be an influential figure in the heart of the defence, with Rovers losing just one of the nine games in which he and Daniel Ayala were the central defensive pairing, only to ship five goals in the two games without him.

Rovers have won just four of the 28 matches in which the 27-year-old hasn’t started since promotion from League One, with the club hoping for a breakthrough in contract talks with the defender, with his deal set to expire in the summer.

Mowbray too has issues to contend with at the top end of the pitch, with top scorer Ben Brereton set to miss the visit of Coventry City due to his international commitments with Chile, with their final qualifier against Venezuela not set to take place until the early hours of Friday morning, UK time.

That comes at the same time as Rovers continue to monitor the fitness of Sam Gallagher.

The attacker limped out of the Blackpool defeat with a hamstring issue, having been playing through the pain barrier having struggled with a groin injury earlier in the season.

Rovers will be desperate to have the 25-year-old in the side given Brereton’s absence, but having already seen Gallagher break down when pushed too far, there is the chance of him sitting out the game.

That would open the door for loanees Ian Poveda and Reda Khadra, as well as Dan Butterworth, with Tyrhys Dolan an all but certain starter against Coventry.

Speaking of Gallagher in the wake of the Blackpool defeat, Mowbray said: “We’ve been trying to protect him, because he’s been struggling a bit for weeks, but he’s been soldiering on and maybe he’s played a game too much? We were hoping to have got him through this game and given him a rest over the international break, but that wasn’t the case. We now have to wait and see what the scans show.”

The Sky Blues will arrive at Ewood Park third in the league, and backed by a bumper following of almost 4,000, though they have issues of their own with Matty Godden unavailable after being hit by a retrospective two-game ban for diving.

Top scorer Viktor Gyokeres is currently away on international duty with Sweden, but with their final qualifier coming against Greece tonight, he is set to be back in time to face Rovers.