The injury to Ian Poveda is just the latest grey area of Rovers’ transfer window plans which Tony Mowbray admits are ‘up in the air’.

Rovers failed to add a striker on deadline day in the summer and expect to be without loanee Poveda for an extended period after scans revealed a leg fracture and ankle ligament damage.

That will put further pressure on Rovers adding to their attacking numbers when the transfer window re-opens in the New Year, but expected interest in top scorer Ben Brereton and a possible final chance to cash in their out-of-contract players will impact heavily on the potential business.

Rovers have one loan spot free, and a possible second should Poveda’s deal from Leeds United be cut short, while deals for players in League One and north of the border for cash fees, or pre-contract deals, are also being eyed.

Mowbray told the Lancashire Telegraph: “The January planning has been pretty intense. We’re spending a lot of time on recruitment at the moment.

“The grey area is whether we’re looking at free transfers, to sign some players cross-border, are we going to try and do a few cheap deals, or are we going to sell a player for £25m and have £10m to spend?

“It’s a bit up in the air for us but a lot of planning is going into January with different scenarios.

“The job every transfer window is to try and improve the squad from the start of the window to when it shuts to try and make us stronger and that’s what we’ll look to do.”

Ryan Nyambe, Darragh Lenihan and Joe Rothwell are three first-team regulars whose deals expire in the summer, with the club having a one-year option on 14-goal striker Brereton.

On that scenario, Mowbray added: “I don’t think it’s for now, these are for discussions for another day. There’s a lot of grey water around a lot of contractual situations of a lot of our players.

“As I work with them everyday it affects some more than others. Some it’s water off a duck's back and they are pretty relaxed and will wait to see what the summer brings or what the contract talks get to.

“For some of them it appears that it’s a burden on them and a weight.”

The quartet have continued to be regulars in the side despite the uncertainty of their futures as unsigned deals remain on the table.

The club have tried to progress talks with the players’ representatives but without a breakthrough and Mowbray says they are delicate situations to manage.

He said: “I have to try and deal with that every day, every game. As I said last week, the team selection as we move forward there might be some surprises along the way because if I think it’s affecting someone too much and they’re not performing or worried about getting injured or whatever it might be, they won’t play.

“The team is the only thing that matters.

“The individuals, I care deeply about them, and I talk to them sometimes as a footballer rather than as a football manager because I was that player 20 or 30 years ago.

“I had the same dilemmas, ‘am I staying at Middlesbrough, I know so and so is interested in me?’

“You think of your future, of your family, you think ‘is it worth moving the kids?’ and ‘I’d have to sell the house’, these are the questions.

“My thoughts are with the footballer but I am an employee and I have to work with the football club and it’s a fine balance of talking to your players with care and attention of their lives and making sure you know you work for this football club and you have to do the best for the club.

“You have to keep the players on board and working hard for the club and fighting for the team while they’re part of it.”