Bradley Dack will be given a minimum of two behind closed doors games or Under-23s fixtures before pushing for a first-team return.

Dack is resuming non-contact training after a small injury setback upon the completion of his rehabilitation on his cruciate knee ligament. That has kept him out of the side since last December, but the 26-year-old is pushing towards a return early next month in a boost to Tony Mowbray.

Rovers Under-23s have three fixtures this month, their Premier League 2 campaign resuming on October 18 with a game at Southampton, before facing West Ham on October 23 and then Tottenham on October 30.

The club have arranged behind closed doors matches recently, including Monday’s against Blackpool, which gave Sam Gallagher the opportunity to get minutes under his belt, and something similar could be arranged for Dack.

He said: “I will probably play a minimum of two Under-23s games or in-house games if they’re set up, two or three of those, then a week training before I’m ready for selection.

“I’ve got a date in mind, between four and five weeks, back in, playing.”

Dack sustained the injury in a 0-0 draw with Wigan Athletic on December 23, undergoing surgery days later before his rehabilitation process, first at the club’s Brockhall training base and then at home during lockdown.

Tony Mowbray initially ruled Dack out for the whole of the calendar year based upon the understanding of the surgeon, but the 26-year-old has always targeted being back in action within a ninth month timeframe.

That isn’t now the case following a recent setback, but his recovery from the anterior cruciate ligament injury he suffered last year had been completed.

However, Dack doesn’t see it as a setback as such, feeling that the extra time to work on his fitness will pay dividends in the long run.

And he hopes that a series of warm-up matches will be crucial before pushing towards a return to first-team action as quickly as possible.

“The surgeon told me it would be between nine and 12 months, but he told the physios it would be closer to 12,” he told the club website.

“For me to get back to where I am now, I’ve completed my full rehab, I’ve just had this little setback but on the plus side the surgeon has said that it’s only a good thing for my knee to have this extra four week to let the ACL be even stronger than it is already.

“I’ve seen it as a blessing in disguise, not rushing it, and I’ll be back soon.”