Rovers will allow Lewis Holtby to continue his rehabilitation in Germany until a fixed date for a return to training is agreed.

Tony Mowbray ordered his players to ‘down tools’, as per EFL guidelines, earlier this month with the Rovers players given a three week ‘off season’ having previously been working to training programmes devised by head of athletic performance Chris Rush.

The league told clubs not to resume training before May 16, and with the season still suspended indefinitely because of the ongoing threat of COVID-19, that could be extended.

Holtby hasn’t played for Rovers since coming off injured in the 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough on February 1, with scans revealing damage to the lateral ligament in his knee.

The 29-year-old was expected to miss the rest of the season with the injury, but an extension to the current season could see the former German international involved in the remaining nine games.

A regular on social media, Holtby has been posting updates of his progress and fitness work on his Instagram account, and he certainly hasn’t been slacking off during the current lockdown since returning to Germany at the end of last month.

The Bundesliga could be the first top European league to return to action, with a date of May 9 having been suggested, though only after being first rubber-stamped by the Government.

Current lockdown restrictions in the UK run until May 7 when a decision will be taken on whether that will be extended or relaxed.

Before that, the Government is discussing a proposal that would require people travelling in to the UK to self-isolate for a period of two weeks as part of a second phase of managing the outbreak.

Secretary of State Dominic Raab said of the possible measures: "That's something that we will be looking at and it could include the testing for people coming in, it could include social distancing measures and we'll make sure  that we are absolutely on top of the scientific evidence and are taking all the measures that are necessary to protect people's health, to protect their lives but also to preserve our way of life as we go forward, economically and socially."

Those plans led to reports that EFL clubs would require their players to return to the UK by Saturday, May 2 in a bid to be available to train for the possible return date of May 16.

However, with no return date set in stone for Rovers, as well as Holtby being on the comeback trail from injury, Rovers will continue to liaise with the midfielder who signed as a free agent in September before any decision is taken about his return to East Lancashire.

Some Premier League clubs have now resumed non-contact training, with Arsenal, Tottenham and Brighton having opened up parts of their training grounds for players to get their fitness work in.

Rovers however haven’t trained since March 13, the day matches were first suspended, with their Brockhall training base having remained closed ever since, with plans to conduct sessions in small groups having been scrapped.

The EFL said over the weekend its position ‘remains unchanged’ in their desire to finish the 2019/20 season, but matches would only return ‘at an appropriate point and based on guidance from the relevant authorities’.

A testing programme will also be introduced for players and staff before any consideration was given to playing matches again, with the EFL having so far refused to comment on a proposed re-start date of June 9.

Holtby, who has played 18 times since his free transfer move, was one of three senior Rovers players not expected to feature again this season, with Corry Evans having suffered severe facial injuries in the 1-1 draw with Preston North End in January, and Bradley Dack an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the December draw with Wigan.

However, midfielder Evans who underwent surgery on a fractured skull, eye socket and nose, has said he is nearing a return to full contact training, raising hopes he could play again once the season resumes.

But while Dack excited fans with videos of him kicking a ball once again, his rehabilitation from a cruciate ligament injury remains ongoing, with the 10-goal attacker still some five or six months away from any potential return.