Long tipped for a bright future, but yet to shake off his injury issues, Dan Butterworth made a big step towards his latest comeback by training with the first-team squad this week.

Butterworth spent a year on the sidelines with two separate back issues, but returned to the first-team set-up, and on the pitch, in December, with a substitute appearance at Stoke City his first Championship appearance in 18 months.

He also turned out on three occasions for the Under-23s before a setback saw him spend another three months on the sidelines.

But hoping to put his injury issues behind him once again, Butterworth was part of the squad that trained on Thursday as Rovers prepare for their return to action at Wycombe Wanderers next Friday.

The 21-year-old is under contract at Rovers for another year, and Tony Mowbray is a known admirer, saying in December: "He’s a dynamite footballer who will burst onto the scene in the next year and everyone is going to think ‘wow, who’s that?’”

Butterworth felt his involvement, and subsequent introduction, was a show of faith from the manager, and will hope to feature again before the season is out.

Rovers Under-23s are looking to schedule some friendly fixtures ahead of their return to Premier League 2 action against Everton on April 9, which could offer Butterworth some match minutes.



Meanwhile, there was a further fitness boost for Rovers as Jacob Davenport stepped up his return to action.

The midfielder has been out for a month with a groin problem sustained in training. That came after Davenport had featured for at least 45 minutes in six of Rovers’ previous eight fixtures, including his first Championship start at Birmingham City on January 2.

The 22-year-old has had an equally troubled time with injury, and has missed eight matches as part of his latest injury, but could return for the Adams Park trip next week.

He could be one of three midfielders that Rovers welcome back to the fold against the Chairboys.

Lewis Travis has missed the last two matches with a hip injury sustained in the defeat to Brentford, while Tom Trybull was ineligible for the fixture against his parent club Norwich City last time out.

There Mowbray recalled Stewart Downing to the squad, having not made the bench for the previous two fixtures, the veteran midfielder coming on for the final 20 minutes in his 13th appearance of the season, 11 of which have come from the bench.

Corry Evans, who started at Carrow Road, is doubtful for the Wycombe game however given his likely involvement in Northern Ireland’s game against Bulgaria on March 31.