Tony Mowbray feels Rovers have missed “unique” Lewis Travis who he hopes will be back on the training pitch before the end of 2020.

It is now two months since Travis picked up a lateral knee ligament injury at Newcastle, with a 12-week timeframe given on his absence, after undergoing surgery.

Travis is set to see a specialist which will determine the next stages of his rehabilitation, with Mowbray saying the midfielder remains in good spirits.

The manager acknowledges the 23-year-old’s energy and drive in the middle of the park is something Rovers have struggled to replace in his absence, but knows Travis still has some way to go before he makes his return to the side.

“As I’ve mentioned in recent games he’s a big miss for us, he’s always a unique player in our team with his energy and ability to win the ball back and to pick up second balls and drive our team forward,” Mowbray told the Lancashire Telegraph.

“He’s not someone that we should be hanging our hat on over the next few weeks though.

“I see him most days and he’s working hard and pushing on.

“He has a smile on his face around the building, he’s a good lad is Trav, he’s in good spirits but raring to go and help our team.”

Corry Evans is the latest addition to the treatment table, the 30-year-old sustaining a hamstring strain in the win over QPR before the international break.

Elliott Bennett is another longer-term injury concern, though Bradley Dack will move a step closer to his return from a year out with an anterior cruciate ligament injury with an outing in a behind closed doors game this week.

Travis played 44 times last season and has been used to regular match action since bursting onto the scene in 2018.

He’s itching to get back out on the pitch, but says he was never going to be one to sit around and sulk after the injury he picked up in the latter stages of the Carabao Cup defeat against Newcastle United.

“Moping around and feeling sorry for yourself is only going to reflect badly on your rehabilitation, so you have to give 100 per cent and put everything into it,” he said.

“As soon as the operation was done I felt I was on the mend and the time would start going by. The surgeons and the physios are very pleased and believe I’m ahead of schedule.

“We’re going to take things day by day and are ticking off little milestones.”

Travis had enjoyed a meteoric rise into a first-team regular at Rovers, becoming a fixture in the side and a favourite with supporters. He’d enjoyed an extended run in the side, missing just two matches last season, and he admits that coming to terms with his first real absence from the side has been difficult.

He added: “With it being my first proper injury, I did find things tough at the beginning.

“Everybody knows that I love playing games, there’s nothing better for me. But now I’ve got my head around things it’s given me the chance to work on things that I’m not at the top level at doing.”

Lewis Holtby had a similar injury last season prior to lockdown, and was back playing four months after the injury once the season restarted, but the German international had declared himself available after 12 weeks.

And Travis’ known competitive edge extends to off the pitch as well as on it, as he looks to get back as quickly as possible.

“Me being me, when I saw Lewis was out for 12 weeks, I’ve wanted to beat it, but not by rushing or cutting corners,” he told the club website.

“Lewis has been great with me as well and has told me about his journey back. But I want to be doing better and I’m aiming to get back sooner than he did.”