TONY Mowbray says he is mentally preparing to be without both Charlie Mulgrew and Darragh Lenihan for Blackburn Rovers’ remaining six games.

The central defensive pair will both undergo MRI scans on their respective ankle injuries this afternoon, although x-rays have already confirmed that neither have suffered any breaks.

Mulgrew was stretchered off at Reading in the opening 10 minutes, while Lenihan didn’t appear for the second half after suffering a knock late in the first half.

And the Rovers head coach said: “They have both had x-rays to assess if there was any bone damage and they both came back clear.

“They will both have an MRI scan this afternoon and we will know more about any possible ligament damage when the results come back.

“Experience tells you that ligament damage it could still be a couple of months.

“In my mind I am preparing to play the last six games without them and anything other than that is a bonus.”

Lenihan and Mulgrew have been the first choice partnership for Rovers for much of the season, and had played seven of the nine games together in which Mowbray has taken charge.

“They both bring different qualities,” Mowbray added.

“Mulgrew has that composure and delivery with his left foot from set plays and when playing out from the back.

“Darragh is just a warrior.  I talked previously about soldiers and artists and if anyone is a warrior then it’s Darragh Lenihan.

“He has a great personality and character in the dressing room and around the building.

“They are both a huge loss but they will both be massively supportive of the team and that camaraderie is just as important as the 11 that pull the jerseys on.”

Their injuries will likely see Tommie Hoban be partnered with either Elliott Ward, who hasn’t played since the opening day, or Wes Brown, whose last start came against Barnsley at Oakwell on Boxing Day.

Fellow central defender Gordon Greer is still sidelined with a  calf injury that could rule him out for at least a further two weeks.

Better news for Rovers is the return to training of top scorer Danny Graham who has missed the last three games with a groin injury for which he underwent minor surgery during the international break.

Mowbray added: “He trained today.

“As long as there is no reaction then he will train again on Friday and I don’t see why he won’t be involved in some capacity on Saturday and then push on from there.

“He has had a little procedure to relieve some of the pain there and hopefully he comes back firing on all cylinders.

“A fit and mobile Danny Graham can run riot on some days or on others he might just  nick you a goal that will be important for us.

“The sooner he is 100 per cent to help the team the better.”