BLACKBURN Rovers’ Championship preparations have been thrown into turmoil after having £3million summer signing Leon Best ruled out for at least six months with a cruciate knee ligament injury.

Rovers will immediately start the search for two new strikers ahead of next month’s big kick off after their worst fears were confirmed by scans on Best’s knee injury yesterday – with Kean set to be backed with the necessary funds by Venky’s.

The Lancashire Telegraph understands Rovers enquiries about prolific hot shot Jordan Rhodes have already been rebuffed by Huddersfield Town as they searched for competition for Best – but now are back in the market for two strikers.

Best suffered the injury during a pre-season friendly win over AEK Athens on Sunday, having just minutes earlier scored a spectacular second goal of the summer.Best was seen by Kean as integral to his plans to launch a challenge to make an instant Premier League return and will know the next couple of weeks will be key to his hopes.

The Telegraph still understands West Brom striker Simon Cox will not be coming to Ewood Park, despite Kean’s earlier interest, while another target, QPR’s Jamie Mackie, is expected to stay at Loftus Road.

Rovers’ ambitious attempts to sign 22-year-old Rhodes, even before Best’ injury, suggests Kean still has significant cash at his disposal, with the player likely to command a fee in the region of £6million.

Huddersfield though have firmly told Rovers the player is not for sale as their search for a striker suddenly becomes more urgent.

Best’s injury leaves Rovers with just Nuno Gomes and David Goodwillie as Rovers’ recognised strikers, with the Portugal man signed to play a more withdrawn role.

Rovers are resigned to losing Best for at least six months of the campaign but know he could miss even more of the season depending on the long recover process.

The striker missed most of the second half of last season at Newcastle with a knee injury and has been left devastated by his latest injury blow.

Rovers are targeting a physical striker in the mould of Best as well as a fast forward to add some pace to their fire power, with a short list being drawn up in the next 24 hours.