Boss’ joy at early Jones return

Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn boss Steve Kean believes Phil Jones' return to fitness for the season run-in could be the welcome tonic his team needs.

The England Under-21 defender is in contention for a start against Arsenal on Saturday after making a shock appearance as a substitute in the 2-2 draw with Blackpool at Ewood Park before the international break.

Jones is available again after a three-month stint on the sidelines with a knee injury and Kean is convinced his speedy comeback has given the whole squad a big lift as they look to pull away from the Premier League drop zone.

The Rovers boss told the club’s official website: “You are thinking the season is going to be over for Phil. But credit to him and the medical team, it is almost like signing a player in the transfer window.

“It is a massive boost to have a quality player, who is also a breath of fresh air in his enthusiasm to work and learn.”