GARRY Flitcroft is hoping his injury nightmare is now behind him after resuming light training this week.

The former Manchester City ace has been through hell since damaging knee ligaments in an innocuous looking training ground incident 12 months ago.

Since then he has undergone three separate operations on the problem and his attempted comeback at Huddersfield earlier this season lasted just one game.

But the powerful midfielder is now starting to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

And after starting running again on Wednesday, he now plans to make a playing comeback in the next four or five weeks.

"It's killed me, to be honest," admitted Flitcroft.

"I've been out a long time but this time I think I've got it right and I'm just looking forward to getting back playing again.

"Watching the lads play against Crewe the other night makes you just want to be out there with them.

"But, hopefully, in four or five weeks I will be.

"I don't know exactly how long it's going to be but I'll just have to wait and see if I get any reaction after starting running.

"I want to be back as soon as possible but I'll go off what the medical staff say.

"They are very good and I've just got to listen to them.

"I've been doing a lot of cycling over the last two weeks and I've also been doing some weights to keep myself ticking over. "I've been trying to do some running this week so, hopefully, I'll be able to start with a ball again on Monday."

The loss of Flitcroft and his central midfield partner Billy McKinlay have cost Rovers dearly in the last 12 months, culminating in their relegation to the Nationwide League First Division.

But McKinlay made his comeback in the reserves against Manchester United last week.

And Flitcroft is hoping to follow suit in the next couple of weeks as he looks to step up his own rehabilitation.

"I think it's going to be three or four weeks before I'm ready for a reserve game," said Flitcroft.

"But it all depends on how good or bad it goes.

"Hopefully, things will go well and I might be able to get a reserve game under my belt in three weeks or so.

"But general fitness won't be a problem.

"I can soon get my general fitness back and, if the knee holds up, then I hope to be back sooner rather than later."

Meanwhile, Norwich boss Bruce Rioch is still being strongly linked with the vacant manager's post at Ewood.

And if the Rovers board decide to make a move for the former Bolton boss then that could see Scotland captain Colin Hendry also re-entering the frame.

Rioch has close links with the Rangers defender and if anything happened on the Ewood front then he may turn to Hendry as a possible number two.

Howard Wilkinson, the FA technical director, is believed to have been approached but his initial reaction was not favourable.

And Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy is now being touted.

The players are still in the dark, however, as to who tops the club's hit-list following Dave Bassett's decision to stay at Barnsley. "Usually when this sort of thing arises there's something leaking out," said defender Craig Short.

"But it's been very, very quiet and the topic of conversation most days among the players is whether or not anyone has heard anything.

"Nobody seems to have come up with any positive information so we are still waiting at the moment."

Some sections of the playing staff would like to see Tony Parkes installed on a permanent basis, however.

"I don't know if Tony wants it or not but one or two of the lads have said the club should give him a chance," said Short.

"He changed things straight away when he came in and the first team he picked contained a few shocks.

"Even established players now know that they are not going to be regulars.

"But it's not for us to decide and I know there's been a lot of applications in to Mr Walker.

"When a job like this becomes available even managers in jobs are going to be interested.

"So it's an interesting situation but I think it will be sorted out pretty soon." In the meantime, the players will concentrate on getting as many points on the board as they can before an appointment is made.

And Short believes they need to make Ewood a fortress if they want to make the play-offs.

"We've got to make Ewood a place where we are guaranteed three points," said Short, who was hoping to shake off a calf strain ahead of today's game against Stockport.

"Then, if we beat the likes of Stockport at home, a draw at Crewe doesn't look too bad.

"But as we showed against Ipswich there's more fight about us now.

"Earlier in the season we probably weren't aggressive enough.

"We probably thought teams were going to lie down for us, especially at Ewood.

"But now we are more competitive."

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