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By ESPN Staff

Nelsen can head home to New Zealand

Blackburn Rovers boss Steve Kean is willing to allow club captain Ryan Nelsen time off to return to his devastated home city of Christchurch this week.

• No heroes, only villains

The 33-year-old New Zealander did not request any leave after the earthquake which hit the city last week but spoke of the emotional difficulty of training last week.

The defender then played in Rovers' Premier League loss at Aston Villa on Saturday but his sending-off in the game means he will be suspended for this weekend's trip to Fulham.

Kean told the club's website: "It has been a really tough week for Ryan, obviously, with all the commotion back home. He has shown total professionalism. He's trained every day and really wanted to play.

"I've already said to Ryan that if he wants to go back to let me know. The good thing for him is that all of his family are okay. He's on the phone to them supporting them through this difficult time.''

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