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Baps out of Royals clash

10 April 2015

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Rovers will be without the services of Alex Baptiste for Saturday's match against Reading.

The on-loan defender suffered a hamstring injury during Wednesday night's FA Cup loss to Liverpool and will miss the weekend match.

Baptiste, who played on throughout the second half with the injury until he was eventually replaced with ten minutes to go, is the fourth central defender that boss Gary Bowyer will be without for the match at the Madejski Stadium.

"It was obvious on Wednesday night that Alex Baptiste played 20-25 minutes with a pulled hamstring," said the Rovers boss.

"I can't speak highly of him, he just kept coming over and getting it strapped. We had to drag him off in the end.

"So it is disappointing that he won't be with us, we are waiting on the results of scans this morning to see how long he is going to be out."

Rovers are already without Shane Duffy with a long term knee injury, Grant Hanley has had a setback in his recovery from a calf strain, whilst loanee Doneil Henry had his season cut short with a hamstring tear last month.

That leaves Bowyer's squad stretched as ever, but they'll battle on regardless.

"I think that is now four centre halves that we have lost so we'll be shuffling the pack and seeing who is available to play centre halve," added the manager.

"Doneil came up for the Liverpool game and it was great to see him. He is still on a crutch following his operation on his hamstring.

"Grant Hanley has had another set-back which doesn't help us, he's had to come off his rehab. He was progressing nicely but can't push it on further, so he is still missing.

"You just can't believe that sort of luck with one position. There's been times this season when we've had two quality centre halves on the bench and now we are really struggling in that position.

"But what it does is it presents somebody with an opportunity and we know that whoever puts the shirt on will have a right good go for the team."

Rovers do have the likes of Paul Taylor, Jay Spearing and John O'Sullivan back available, but the Rovers boss doesn't expect any of the injured players to have returned in time for Saturday's match.

He added: "David Dunn and Chris Brown were out on the grass yesterday so we'll see how they are today, but you are probably looking more into next week with them.

"We've got Jay Spearing, Paul Taylor and John O'Sullivan back so it does give us options to freshen it up in the attacking half of the pitch. That is probably something that we'll look at doing."

Supporters who haven't yet purchased tickets for Saturday's match against Reading will be able to do so on the day of the game.

Tickets will go off sale at Ewood at 4pm this Friday and after that supporters can purchase and collect tickets from the away end ticket office at the South Stand between gates 9 and 10 from 12.30pm on the day of the game. Cash and cards are accepted.

Admission prices are £10 for Adults and £5 for Seniors 65+, 17-21 year-olds and Juniors 16 and under.

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