Young Rovers hot-shot Dan Butterworth looks set for an extended spell on the sidelines.
The 20-year-old missed the opening 11 weeks of the season with a troublesome back injury, before marking his comeback with a brilliant brace in the Under-23s’ 3-1 victory away to Southampton in October.
The Academy graduate has been in fine goalscoring form since, netting against Chelsea, Middlesbrough and Leicester City at Ewood Park last week, before missing yesterday’s Premier League International Cup clash with Newcastle United.
Speaking after the 3-2 victory, coach Billy Barr confirmed that the striker had suffered a setback, saying: “I don’t know exactly, we’re just waiting on the scan results coming back, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be good news.
“We think he’s going to be out for quite a long time, possibly three or four months, which is devastating for him.
“Obviously he started the season the same way, he’s only played a little bit of football, but we’ll know more next week.
“Let’s just hope that it’s not as bad as we first fear.”
Rovers were also without Dominic Samuel, Jacob Davenport and Joe Rankin-Costello for the trip to the North East, but Barr explained that their absence was simply to allow others to get much-needed game time under their belts.
“They’ve played games,” he added. “You can’t play everybody.
“Jacob, I think, has played seven games on the bounce, so we had Richie (Smallwood) and Brad (Lyons), who is just coming back from injury as well. That was his first game for a while.
“We’re just trying to get as much game time via what the gaffers says in terms of what the first team players need and the Under-23s that need it as well.
“Sam Hart has been out for quite a while and that was his first game time. It’s pleasing when players come back from injury and get through it unscathed and he got 60 minutes in the bank.”