BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer is refusing to put a timescale on when summer signing Chris Brown will make his belated debut for the club.
A knee injury has prevented the strapping striker from featuring for Rovers following his free transfer switch from Doncaster.
Brown is currently restricted to gym work after his second and latest attempt to return to full training ended in frustration.
The 29-year-old is privately believed to harbour hopes he could return in time for the visit of Bournemouth to Ewood Park a week today.
Bowyer, however, is setting no date on Brown’s comeback.
“Chris’ injury is taking longer than we anticipated,” said Bowyer, whose side make their way to Bloomfield Road today for a Lancashire derby against Blackpool.
“I feel sorry for him because he’s desperate to make an impression.
“He’s a new signing – we didn’t make many of them, but he was one of them obviously – and he hasn’t been able to get going yet.
“But he has been working ever so hard in the gym and once he gets over this little niggle – well it’s more than a little niggle now – then he won’t be too far away.
“How long is he away? Well how long is a piece of string? But he’s making progress, so that’s good.
“He’s gym-based at the moment but we have been trying to get him out on the grass a little – he had a session out on the grass on Tuesday.
“We’ve got to make sure he doesn’t have another setback now.
“He has played in-house 11 v 11 games between ourselves and he’s looked a good player – but we already knew that.
"It’s just a bit annoying for everybody but the medical department and staff are all supporting him because he is going to be here for two years rather than two weeks.”
Brown picked up the injury soon after the start of pre-season and, despite initially returning to training before the trip to Bradford City, he did not feature in any of Rovers’ pre-season friendlies.
The former Sunderland and Preston North End front man, who penned a two-year deal with the club, was back in training in the lead up to the Championship opener at home to Cardiff City.
But he suffered another setback, ruling him out of the start of the campaign.
Brown, however, should be in good shape physically when he does make his Rovers bow.
He said: “I have kept fit. The physios and the sports science staff have worked hard with me, so that’s the positive I’m taking from it – the fact that I have been able to do some work in the gym and make the most of the injury.”
Rovers’ other main injury concern is left back Tommy Spurr.
He will certainly miss out against Blackpool today and the clash away to Norwich City on Tuesday with a groin problem.