Tony Mowbray revealed star man Bradley Dack is ‘months ahead’ of schedule and heaped praise on his professionalism during his injury recovery. .

Dack marks three years at Ewood Park today, but the last six months have been spent on the sidelines after suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury against Wigan Athletic in December.

The 26-year-old has set himself a target of being in the matchday squad for the opening game of the 2020/21 season, and while Mowbray is reluctant to make such predictions, he can’t help but hide his delight at the progress Dack is making.

“I’d have to say that it’s been amazing to watch him and the professionalism he’s brought to this,” he told the Lancashire Telegraph.

“He’s months ahead of where another cruciate knee ligament injury might potentially be.

“It’s amazing to watch him, he’s bouncing around the building, you can feel the confidence in him.

“I don’t want to set a date for him. Is he ready for the start of next season, there’s a fair chance he’ll be pretty close I think.”

Dack has scored 46 times in 114 games, reaching double figures for the third consecutive season before it was cruelly ended by injury in the reverse fixture against the Latics.

After undergoing surgery in early 2020, Dack was expected to miss most of the calendar year. However, he has worked closely with physio Ollie Waite during lockdown to put himself in a position where he is back out working on the Brockhall training pitches.

He added: “It’s been a shock to his system. He’s a young lad who’s really talented and lots of praise has been heaped on and there’s been talk of moves and contracts, and then all of a sudden out of nowhere a really bad injury.

“How did he react, did he sulk, did he mope, was he scared? He has just attacked it really.

“He’s on the grass, whacking balls, he’s running lengths, box to box, up and down at real good speed.

“I’m amazed to see him taking the ball down and whacking it in to the top corner as he can, no problems.

“So much to the point where I’m asking, ‘has he got a chance for the play-off final?’ But we have to be careful with him.

“I don’t want to publicly say Bradley will do this, and do that, he’ll be ready when he’s ready.

“But it’s amazing to watch his enthusiasm, his love of the game every day on the training field, away from prying eyes.

“You don’t get to where he is now without a lot of hard work in your own gym, when every one is at home, you’re working away with a physio on Zoom, telling him what he has to do, he’s put a lot of effort in and hopefully he gets the rewards moving forward.”