Corry Evans says he felt his hamstring ‘tear’ – an injury which ended his hopes of featuring for Northern Ireland in their crucial Euro 2020 play-off match tonight.

Evans was forced off just 90 seconds into Rovers’ weekend win over QPR, with Tony Mowbray revealing it wasn’t ‘a minor injury’ as the 30-year-old was left reeling by his latest piece of bad luck.

Evans has already had to overcome a fractured skull and eye socket, sustained in January, then a broken toe which ruled him out of the final eight matches of last season.

A foot injury then halted his progress at the beginning of this campaign, but after three appearances for Northern Ireland last month, and five Championship starts for Rovers, it had been hoped that the prospects were looking brighter for Evans.

However, injury struck again early on against QPR, and while no timeframe has yet been put on his absence, it looks set to be an extended period before he’s back challenging for a place in the Rovers side.

“It was my first touch on the ball,” Evans said in an interview with The Times.

“I stretched my leg out to try and poke it away from the wee boy (Ilias) Chair but my foot gave way on the turf and I could feel my hamstring tear.

“As I was hobbling off, I was thinking, ‘I’m going to miss the big game on Thursday now.’

“It’s just my luck. This year it’s been one injury after another.”

Evans earned the name ‘Robocop’ among his team-mates after he first returned to training following the operation on his skull, the midfielder then battling back to feature in the first game after lockdown in June.

He has previously described how the surgeon said his injuries mirrored those sustained in a car crash, or being hit with a hammer. In his latest interview he revealed he was ‘lucky not to suffer brain damage’ as he feared for the rest of his career.

Evans hasn’t endured much luck on the injury front throughout his career, a persistent groin problem affecting him during the early stages of his time at Ewood Park.

He’s been a regular, when fit, for his national side, winning 64 caps and featured in Euro 2016 and been a key man under Michael O'Neill and now Ian Baraclough.

His possible involvement in next summer’s tournament will come down to his team-mates who face Slovakia in a play-off this evening.

Evans was involved in a World Cup qualifying play-off with Switzerland three years ago, wrongly adjudged to have handled in the box as a penalty was given against him.

Ricardo Roriguez scored the only goal of the game from the spot, with Evans’ injustice compounded by a yellow card which ruled him out of the second leg.

Despite a brave effort, Northern Ireland came up short, and will be hoping for more luck this time around.

He added: “A win would help me mentally.

“It would make every day in the gym worthwhile knowing that I have something to look forward to next summer. If we win or score, I just hope I’ll not overexert myself in the celebrations.”