Tony Mowbray said Bradley Dack wasn’t available for the game against Stoke City because of a hamstring injury.

Dack wasn’t included in the matchday squad, despite arriving as normal before the game.

Mowbray said it was his decision to leave out Dack who had been keen to play, despite coming off with a tight hamstring in training on Thursday.

The 25-year-old top scorer was missed, as Rovers failed to score for the fourth home game in five as they fell to a ninth defeat in their 11 Championship fixtures.

Rovers host Derby on Tuesday, with Dack due in training tomorrow before a decision is taking over his involvement. .

Of his absence, Mowbray said: “He walked off from training on Thursday with a tight hamstring.

“He had a go at training yesterday, but I don’t want to carry a player in an important game. We have to try and win some games.

“I didn’t want a 60 or 70 per cent Bradley Dack on the pitch today. I took the decision out of his hands. He wanted to play.

“Experience tells me that when you have a hamstring injury you can’t go full pelt. You have to be able to sprint and lunge and I didn’t want to him to be out for the next four weeks.

“I took the decision out of his hands because of his hamstring injury.”

Dack was part of a 22-man squad who reported to Ewood as normal before the game, along with Jacob Davenport, Harry Chapman and Joe Nuttall.

However, Mowbray said he took the decision on Friday not to include Dack, who left before the game, with the blessing of his manager.

Mowbray said: “He was in the squad, but I had made my mind up that he wouldn’t be playing because it’s too big a risk.

“A hamstring injury is a delicate one. In his mind he thinks he’s okay, but I was there, he walked off training, his hamstring was sore and tight.

“In the full blooded battle, I wanted to take that risk away and him missing the rest of the season.

“We’ll see how he is. He’s in training tomorrow and will ease in to it, but he has to sprint, he has to play at his maximum and we’ll see if he’s ready for Tuesday.”

On him leaving before the  game, Mowbray added: “I had a good chat with him before. That’s fine, I had no problem with Bradley leaving. He goes home and rests, then comes in tomorrow for treatment and let’s wait and see if we can get him ready for Tuesday.”