Rovers rocked by Nelsen blow
The New Zealander has been struggling with a knee problem in recent weeks and, after he was forced off only 35 minutes into last weekend's 1-1 draw with Birmingham, the club decided there was no option but for him to go under the knife. Manager Steve Kean said of the operation: "It went well. The surgeon was happy about it and he had a full clear-out. "There were a lot of little bits of floating debris in his knee that he's been in a lot of pain with. He couldn't manage to go on. We're hopeful he'll be back in time for pre-season." With Rovers only three points above the relegation zone heading into Saturday's trip to Everton, Kean can ill afford such setbacks, but he cited the return of youngster Phil Jones from his own knee injury as a saving grace. "Fortunately for us we lose Ryan at a time when Phil Jones is back fully fit," added the manager on www.rovers.co.uk. "He's slotted back in there and looked like he'd never been away from central defence, so that is fantastic for us, but it is unfortunate that we lose Nelly." In-form forward Junior Hoilett has not trained this week because of a hamstring problem but could be fit for Saturday while Kean also expects to have defender Gael Givet back. The Frenchman served a two-match suspension following his red card in the 3-2 defeat against Fulham in early March and then missed the draw with Birmingham after telling Kean he was not in the right state of mind to play. Givet has been involved in a dispute with Blackburn over who is responsible for a payment to the Inland Revenue, with a clause in the contract the 29-year-old signed following his move from Marseille in 2009 the bone of contention between the two parties. Kean, who expects the situation to be resolved soon, has held talks with Givet this week and he is confident the Frenchman can focus on matters on the pitch for the remaining games. Kean said: "It's been an interesting time. I've spent a lot of time one on one with Gael over the last two weeks and I think I've got a good relationship with him. "I'm very confident he can put the issue aside - and I think it's going to be resolved anyway in the next four or five days - and I'm very confident he'll be on the pitch. He's been fantastic over the last couple of days. "It's been hard but I've put myself in his shoes. He didn't feel as though mentally he was in a good place last week. He hadn't slept very much, he said his concentration was not of its usual standard, so we didn't risk him. "But he's in a good place just now, I spoke to him again yesterday, and I think he'll play, and he'll be a big player to get back on the pitch for us. "He's got massive qualities that we would like to have in the team. He's a warrior and we certainly want to count on him in this game and going into the remaining games."