Rovers were forced to withdraw Joe Rothwell from the starting line-up because of a back problem – while Bradley Johnson and Amari’i Bell have both been displaying Covid-19 symptoms.

The pair have undergone tests, missing their first matches of the season when absent from the squad for the 4-2 defeat against Reading.

Rothwell had just returned from a period of self-isolation, which saw him away from the training ground for 10 days, but he had been in the original starting line-up, only to be withdrawn just hours from kick-off after struggling with back issues.

Johnson had started every match this season, the Championship player of the month for September having enjoyed a fine start to the campaign, while Bell had featured in every match prior to the Royals visit where he would have otherwise been in contention to start.

Asked about their absence, Mowbray said: “It’s best to say they’ve got symptoms and it was best to wait and see what happens.

“Let’s wait and see.”

Rothwell had been a key figure in the wins over Wycombe and Derby, but was forced to miss matches against Nottingham Forest, Watford and Coventry City as he was forced to self-isolate.

He trained with the squad this week, and was set to regain his place in the starting line-up, only for a back issue to flare up.

“Rothwell, we trained on Monday with him in the team, but then he came in at 4.30 and his back was in bits, he couldn’t function, yet he functioned very well in the preparation game,” Mowbray added.

“Maybe laid on a bed or on a sofa for 10 days has not done his back much good. He couldn’t play even though we’d done the preparation with him in the team.

“The team that was picked didn’t start the game, it’s the era we’re in and I’m sure it’s happening to other teams.

“We’re doing our best around the football club to distance and to cleanse, to keep everything as best we can, but we’re suffering a little so far.”

The list of absentees was compounded by a groin injury to goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski, picked up in the win over Coventry, which handed Aynsley Pears his debut in goal.

The same issue has also kept Daniel Ayala out of the side for the last two matches.

It is expected to be Pears in goal again for the trip to Swansea City this weekend, though Rovers will give Belgian Kaminski every chance to feature.

Mowbray said: “He’s tweaked his groin, let’s see how he responds to treatment. Basically, we’ll see how he feels.

“He’s got three days, it’s probably unlikely, but I’m not ruling him out.”