Blackburn Rovers defender Sam Barnes has set his sights on a return to the first-team before the end of the season.
Barnes was set for a breakout campaign at Blackburn this season after impressing during pre-season and being named on the bench for the opening game. But the 22-year-old is still yet to play a single minute for the first-team after he suffered an ACL injury in a behind-closed-doors friendly game back in August, which ultimately required surgery.
Barnes has been at Rovers since he was a teenager and made a name for himself in both the U18 and U23 teams in recent years following a loan spell at Marine FC in 2019, with the defender even penning a new deal at Ewood Park back in September.
Speaking to RoversTV (via the Lancashire Telegraph) about his recovery, Barnes spoke of his desire to return before the season’s end and feels that he’s making good progress towards doing so.
“I’m on the grass now, the building up of running and changing direction, and I should be back in training hopefully the last two or three weeks of the season which is quite a big thing.”
Feature before the season’s end?
Barnes’ injury has been a real blow and has written a whole season off for him. But should the defender make his debut this season it would be a huge boost for Jon Dahl Tomasson as well after the defender missed over seven months of action.
Blackburn are currently 5th in the league and will be looking to confirm a play-off finish at the earliest opportunity given the four-point cushion and a game in hand they have on the teams below them.
Rovers’ promotion ambitions may stand in the way of Barnes making an introduction to the side given his lengthy lay off and failure to appear in the senior side yet, which could be a risk that Tomasson isn’t willing to take.
Blackburn travel to Birmingham City on Saturday, with kick-off at 3pm.