Harry Chapman has overcome his bout of illness and is in contention to feature in Blackburn Rovers opening fixture of the 2021/22 season against Swansea City.
The 23-year-old, who signed a one-year contract extension with the club in July after impressing on loan at Shrewsbury Town in the previous campaign, has been absent from Rovers' last two pre-season friendlies, an illness condemning him to the sidelines.
But Chapman has reported back to first-team training this week and is pushing hard to feature in Tony Mowbray's plans this weekend.
There is a further boost for Rovers in that Daniel Ayala is expected to be available for the visit of Russell Martin's outfit, the Spaniard enduring fitness woes over the course of the pre-season as the medical department look to build him up ahead of the new campaign.
Mowbray conceded that the club would have to nurture the Spaniard in the final weeks of pre-season to ensure he is in a healthy condition for the season opener, with Ayala missing the friendly matches against Leeds United and Bolton Wanderers.
One man who featured in the opening pre-season friendly against AFC Fylde that won't be present in the matchday squad on Saturday is Bradley Johnson, the veteran midfielder still another few weeks away from returning to full training after sustaining a hamstring injury in the outing at Mill Farm.
A similar timeframe has been placed on Joe Rankin-Costello, the versatile ace recovering from a broken metatarsal inflicted by a tussle with Uche Ikpeazu against Wycombe Wanderers in early April. Both Rankin-Costello and Johnson are likely to be available after the international break when Luton Town visit Ewood Park, with the trip to Middlesbrough on August 28 potentially a week too soon for the pair.
And on the bench, one of either Antonis Stergiakis or Jordan Eastham will be in contention for a matchday spot with Aynsley Pears still struggling with a back issue that has blighted his pre-season, the former Middlesbrough goalkeeper yet to feature in any of Rovers' friendly outings this summer.
There are no concerns over Lewis Travis while Mowbray says a decision on Adam Armstrong's involvement will be made tomorrow, the Rovers boss citing his concerns over the striker being distracted by growing transfer interest.
“My gut feeling is that Adam Armstrong on the teamsheet when Swansea get it and see it in the dressing room they will be happier if he’s not on the teamsheet," said Mowbray.
“I will be sitting down with Adam and talking about his responsibilities and how well this football club have treated him over the years and he will work as hard as he can for our football team to help the team win games."
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