Scott Wharton is targeting a September return as he recovers from a ruptured Achilles.

Wharton underwent surgery a week after the injury which came in the 2-2 draw at Brentford on December 5, and a time when the 23-year-old was establishing himself in the side.

That was a fifth Championship start, and seventh appearance, of the season for Wharton who started the campaign as fourth choice, but worked himself into pole position as partner to Darragh Lenihan.

But a freak injury against the Bees ended his season, and is expected to keep him out for much of 2021, but Wharton is taking a positive mindset.

He said: “You can see the improvements each day.

“The aim for me is to be, in and around August time, training with the team, and if I miss the start of the season I could be available in September, that’s the target for me.”

The Academy graduate made his Rovers debut in August 2016 but then had to wait until October 2021 for his next appearance in a league fixture.

Wharton was gaining the trust of Tony Mowbray before his injury struck, one he said came as a complete shock.

“I remember at the time, it was like someone had shot me, I think I turned round to Ivan Toney and asked him if he had gone down the back of my Achilles, that’s what it felt like,” he explained in an interview with the club website.

“It wasn’t so much pain, it was just shock, no-one was near me.

“I ruptured my Achilles, it was a clean snap, I had the operation the week after, I was in pot for two weeks, I then had one of those big boots on for eight weeks and then it was basically, because I lost a lot of muscle, it was like training myself to walk again.”