Tony Mowbray has revealed that Bradley Dack has returned to training following a 10 month injury lay-off with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
The Rovers talisman hasn't featured for Rovers since suffering the horror setback against Wigan Athletic at Ewood Park in December 2019.
However, the light at the end of the tunnel is shining brighter for the 26-year-old, who joined up with Billy Barr's Under-23s side on Monday.
“He’s trained today, it was his first official day back training, but nobody was tackling him and he wasn’t with the first team," a smiling Mowbray reported to iFollow Rovers earlier this week.
“We need to keep intensity up and we couldn’t have a session where you couldn’t tackle anyone, so that’s why he was part of the Under-23s’ training session.
“He was back playing football and that’s telling me that he’s not too far away. A few weeks of that and eventually he’ll get back into full contract training.
“From there we’ll arrange a game at the training ground and perhaps in a month or so he’ll be ready. The plan might be to play a behind-closed-doors game in the international break for him.
“So hopefully before Christmas he’ll be back playing.
“He’s been sorely missed really, even though the team's had some great performances and has scored some goals.
“I do think in the tight games, games like Cardiff at home, Forest at home, even the other day against Swansea, they’re the sort of matches that are so tight, and when you think of the goals Bradley scores, he doesn’t need many chances," he added.
“He’s not a one in five guy, he’s a one in two sort of player. We’ve missed that a little bit, and although Adam [Armstrong]’s brought that, there’s probably not enough natural goalscorers in the group.
“When he’s fit then I’m sure the goals tally will increase quite rapidly."
Dack, whose next league start will be his 100th in Rovers colours, remains around a month away from being back in contention for a first team return.
And Mowbray has urged the talented attacker to be cautious and to take baby steps to get himself just right to be a part of a matchday squad.
“He’s been out a long time, almost a year, so we need to give him time to get himself right mentally and make sure we don’t rush him back in a hurry," the boss said.
“I’m sure the talent, the drive and the desire is there, that hasn’t gone anywhere, so we’re all looking forward to having him back and winning football matches with him.
“He’s bright enough to know, when you’ve been out as long as he’s been out, that there’s no point rushing the last couple of weeks.
“You have to do things properly and stick to the programme and what’s been planned. There’s no need to squeeze a game in if we don't have to, we’ll stick to the long-term plan and he’ll be back when he’s back.”