Tony Mowbray doesn't expect to have Darragh Lenihan available for selection for at least 12 weeks.
The former Republic of Ireland under-21 captain, who has been sidelined since the opening day of the campaign, underwent a successful operation last week after scans revealed a stress fracture to his fifth metatarsal.
The Rovers boss admits it will be a slow process of recovery for the defender, with the injury expected to rule him out of action this side of Christmas.
"I think it is a process you have to go through," said the manager. "He'll be in a protective boot for six weeks and then go back and have a reassessment.
"Then if everyone is happy, he'll get out of the boot and do some rehabilitation, then there's probably another six weeks before he goes back and is assessed again. So there is 12 weeks.
"I think Darragh is somebody that shouldn't be putting too much priority on how close he is to coming back.
"We wish the rehabilitation process goes smoothly, he is a quick healer, a robust lad, and hope that it is not too long before he gets his boots back on and is out on the grass."