Rovers aren’t expected to welcome any new faces back for the visit to Nottingham Forest.

Indeed, Tony Mowbray says several players are nursing knocks from the defeat at Barnsley which puts their involvement at the City Ground in doubt.

Joe Rankin-Costello has returned to training after three months out with a hamstring injury, and will play for the Under-23s against West Ham United this afternoon.

Bradley Johnson has missed four games with the same injury, but isn’t ready to return as yet, and neither is Daniel Ayala who has been out since December.

Lewis Holtby and Tom Trybull are other players currently nursing injuries, with Scott Wharton and Derrick Williams both longer-term concerns.

“I don’t think there’s many positives on players potentially coming back in,” Mowbray said.

“We picked up a few knocks in midweek and we are waiting on one player to have an injection to see whether he’ll be able to train to play.

“There are a few knocks and niggles and I would hope we’ll take a pretty similar squad with us on the bus to Nottingham.

“The frustration for me is that the knocks always seem to come in the same area of the pitch.

“We’ve had it in the past with having to play Johnson at centre back and [Barry] Douglas at right back.

“It’s part and parcel of the game though and we have to get on with it.”

Johnson has been a regular in the side this season, but limped out of the Middlesbrough win last month and has missed almost a month of option in a blow to Mowbray’s central midfield options.

Summer signing Ayala has made just eight starts this season in what has been a disrupted season for the Spaniard since his arrival.

Providing the latest on the pair, Mowbray told the club website: “Johnson has trained the last couple of days but is slightly feeling his hamstring.

“You don’t throw him in for a football match if he’s feeling his hamstring.

“Ayala is getting back on the grass this weekend and he’ll have to be out there for seven to 10 days just to build himself up again.

“He was ready to go when we signed him but kept breaking down in the second or third game of a three-game cycle.

“The learning lesson for Dani is that there is going to be an inconsistency of selection over the first month or six weeks that he will be available because he can’t play that second or third game in a week.

“But we have to use that experience and physicality that he has when he is fit and available.

“When you look at the nature of some of the goals we’ve lost, a physical presence would have help.

“The balance of talent, physicality, speed and experience is what you need in a team and certainly Ayala and Johnson would add in the physicality and experience areas for us."