Lewis Holtby will miss the rest of the season - with the German midfielder set to undergo surgery on his lateral knee ligament.

The 29-year-old was forced off in the 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough with a knee problem that will see him go under the knife next week.

The news comes as a big blow to Tony Mowbray who is already without top scorer Bradley Dack for the rest of the season, with Corry Evans out for the foreseeable future and Joe Rothwell set to miss all of February with a hamstring problem.

Holtby had started Rovers’ last four Championship games, in which they are unbeaten, and scored twice in the 5-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday last month.

But he will now be out for the rest of the season, leaving Mowbray to shuffle his pack in the attacking areas.

“It’s bad news for Lewis unfortunately,” said Mowbray.

“He’s going to be 12 weeks is the date, the season is finished for Lewis unless we make the play-offs and he might have a chance for some of them.

“Twelve weeks takes us deep in to the season, if not the end of the season.

“He’s taken part of his lateral knee ligament off the bone, so it needs stitching back.

“I think next week he will have an operation and then it’s a 12 week period before he can get back on the grass.

“On the back of Bradley (Dack), Lewis is a big loss, and then Corry, without putting a timescale on it, we’re not expecting him back shortly.

“Joe Rothwell was four weeks, so let’s hope it’s two or three more weeks now and that’s it.

“Danny Butterworth is another No.10 who does well for the Under-23s who might have been given another opportunity over these coming weeks but is unavailable with a stress fracture to his back.

“It’s something you have to get on with, part and parcel of the game and something we have to get on with.

“There’s no point crying over it, we have to find a way to play without those players and hopefully be successful and win games as we move forward.”