Jason Lowe is set for an extended spell on the sidelines after boss Gary Bowyer confirmed the midfielder will go under the knife for a second time this week.
The 24-year-old will have an operation on Tuesday to address the persistent foot problem that forced him to miss much of last season.
Lowe first sustained the injury in a pre-season friendly against Stoke City in August 2014 and despite playing through the pain barrier and then returning from a three-month lay-off in December, his season was cut short in February following surgery.
The former England Under-21 international worked tirelessly during the close season to get back to full fitness and started four of Rovers' first five league fixtures this term.
However, a recurrence of the problem means that Lowe will once again require surgery to get to the root of the problem.
"He's been to see a specialist and he'll need another operation at the beginning of next week," said the manager.
"It's a massive blow to us and to the lad in particular. He gives it everything he's got, he's first in and he's last out and we hope that once he's had the operation he can come back even stronger.
"It's particularly frustrating for him, because he's just desperate to play for us, so we wish him well and the prediction for his recovery should hopefully have him back around Christmas time, if not before."
Lowe's latest setback adds to Rovers' other injury woes.
Fode Koita and Matt Kilgallon both missed the trip to the KC Stadium on Saturday, whilst Rovers also lost Danny Guthrie to a thigh injury inside the opening 10 minutes.
Bowyer added: "Matt Kilgallon just tweaked a hamstring the other day and then to lose Danny Guthrie so early was a blow, but he was experienced enough to come off straight away, so hopefully that's stopped any long-lasting damage. We'll get it scanned and keep our fingers crossed.
"We lost Fode in training on Friday. He felt his knee on Tuesday and then when he came out to train on Friday he just didn't feel that it was quite right, but we're hoping he'll be ok for next Saturday for sure.
"I thought Tom Lawrence came in and played ever so well for us in there, particularly in the first half, and then he had to come off with a little bit of cramp."
Rovers are back in action this Saturday when they face Ipswich Town at Ewood Park.
Tickets are currently on open sale priced from £18 for Adults, from £12 for Seniors and 18-21 year-olds, whilst Juniors aged 17 and under can see the game from just £7.
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