BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer has hailed the return of Corry Evans to full fitness as like having a new signing.
The all-action midfielder could make his Rovers comeback in Saturday’s trip to Middlesbrough after spending nearly four months on the sidelines.
Evans, 23, sustained ankle-ligament damage while playing for Northern Ireland in their World Cup qualifier in Israel on October 15 – robbing his manager of a player he has big plans for.
“Corry is doing well, we’ll keep building him up and he will look to be involved in the squad at the weekend,” said Bowyer, who signed Evans from Hull City in August.
“If he doesn’t make it then he will definitely play some part in the U21 game on Monday.”
“He’s only started six games for us this season and when you look at the fact that we’re playing our 30th league game on Saturday, it shows just what a big loss he has been for us.
“So having him back will be like a new signing for us. He’s a top player with a good understanding of the all-round game.
“He can pass, he can tackle, he can score goals, he uses his size above his means – and he’s a bit of a leader as well.
“He was just starting to make the impact we knew he could when he got a nasty injury but we’re looking forward to him coming back.”
Evans is expected to play some part in the U21 match with Tottenham at Leigh Sports Village on Monday (7pm).
Bowyer has also received good news on Tommy Spurr after the left-back – the only Rovers player to start every Championship match this season – suffered a gash to the head in last weekend’s 2-0 home win over Blackpool.
Bowyer said: “Tommy has got nine stitches in his head but it’s not a problem for him.
“He’s back training and he’ll back playing on Saturday.”
Midfielder Lee Williamson is also back in training after concussion ruled him out against Blackpool.
Josh King came off with a leg injury in the same game – just 20 minutes after coming on as a substitute.
The Norwegian will have a scan to determine the extent of any damage caused.
Bowyer has already lost one winger to injury with Ben Marshall facing a fight to be fit again this season – but the Rovers boss has been delighted with the impact Craig Conway has made since his transfer deadline day move from Cardiff City.
Bowyer said: “We’ve put Craig through the rest of his fitness tests and he looks in great shape. We’re delighted with the shape he is in and the impact he made on Saturday.”
Meanwhile, Rovers striker Dean Rittenberg has been called up into the England U18s squad for their friendly with Belgium U18s at St George’s Park on February 18.