BLACKBURN Rovers are hopeful on-loan defender Tommie Hoban will be given the all-clear in the coming days to return to the club ahead of a possible return to action next month.

Hoban has missed the last three months with a dislocated shoulder for which he underwent surgery at his parent club Watford in November.


The 22-year-old impressed in his 10 appearances for Rovers prior to picking up his injury.

The central defender is yet to return to Brockhall since undergoing surgery, but did meet up with his Rovers team-mates at their team hotel ahead of the FA Cup tie at QPR.

Hoban is set to meet with the surgeon who carried out his operation this week in the hope of receiving the all-clear to step up his rehabilitation.

Should he get such an assurance Rovers manager Owen Coyle is hopeful of a February return for the defender, whose loan deal at Ewood Park runs until the end of the season.

“He has a meeting in the next few days with the surgeon that performed the surgery to hopefully get the all clear to then step up his rehab,” said Coyle.

“If he can then we would look to try and secure that he comes back to Blackburn Rovers to carry that on.

“Obviously we would have to have that dialogue with Watford on that as his parent club and understand their wishes and respect them as well.

“For us it would be great to have him back in our system and look to charge on and speed up him getting back to playing.”

Hoban is no stranger to recovering from long-term injuries, having overcome a 16-month leg and hip absence to feature for Watford in the EFL Cup in August before leaving for Rovers.

Rovers are yet to add to their squad so far this month but Coyle believes the return of Hoban could be a huge filip for his side who have conceded 43 Championship goals this season.

Coyle added: “When we talk about January and transfers, it would be like signing a wonderful centre back when Tommie Hoban is fit and available because we know of his quality.

“He will be like a new player coming back.

“I think the earliest would possibly be the middle of February, and that’s me because I want him back quickly, but I would think that we’re looking towards the end of February and if we get him back then it would be an important time for a wonderful player to come back to the club.”