Tony Mowbray believes the absence of Corry Evans has been overlooked – while Bradley Dack has set a September target for his return.

Rovers’ star man has been an undoubted miss since his cruciate ligament injury in December but the 26-year-old has made significant progress and is targeting involvement in the opening match of the 2020/21 season.

Evans underwent surgery in January after sustaining serious facial injury, as well as a fractured skull, against Preston and wasn’t expected to feature again this season.

The Northern Ireland international made a goalscoring return to the side, in a man of the match display against Bristol City at the weekend, but revealed he would have been ready to play again this season, even if it hadn’t been extended.

Rovers were also able to welcome Lewis Holtby back from injury, but will remain without Dack for the foreseeable future.

Asked if Evans had been a bigger miss than some would realise, Mowbray said: “I think so, but if you’re going to put our star players who’ve been missing, you think of Bradley Dack.

“When I used inspirational video to show them how good they are, Dack is involved in some amazing goals this season, brilliant goals, but he’s not available.

“It was great to have Holtby back, he showed against Sheffield Wednesday that he can be a goal threat and he can be a threat. We’ve got good options.

“I like this team, we’re trying to make them believe that they’re good enough to compete and try and get in to the top six but there’s a lot of good teams and we have to try and give it our best shot.”

Evans posted pictures on social media pictures of him in his hospital bed moments after surgery, with extensive injuries which included a large scar on his skull, as he celebrated his return to action.

A surgeon likened his injuries to not dissimilar to being involved in a car accident, or being hit with a hammer, such was the extent of them.

They also included a broken nose, and eye socket, but Evans was back on the pitch within five months and will hope to have a big say in Rovers’ remaining eight games im their push for the play-offs.

And his manager was delighted to have him back, not least for what the 29-year-old has had to overcome in his bid to come back to action.

“If you’d have seen his face, you wouldn’t have recognised him. Two or three weeks after his initial injury his face was swollen, his eyes were closed, his hairline had been stretched back and he had a huge scar on the top of his skull,” Mowbray added.

“And you think of him playing at the level he did with the energy, drive and commitment was fantastic and a credit to himself, his family and the football club.”