BLACKBURN Rovers have been dealt a major injury blow by the news that in-form midfielder Corry Evans will be out until Christmas.

The Northern Ireland international is set to spend two months on the sidelines after sustaining ankle-ligament damage while on international duty last week.

Rovers boss Gary Bowyer admits losing Evans is a setback.

But he is confident he has the players at his disposal to combat the 23-year-old’s absence.

Bowyer said: “We’ve had it confirmed that it’s a worse injury than it was when it was first assessed.

“He’s now going to be out, we think, until around Christmas time.

“It’s far more swollen and damaged to the ligament than initially feared and now we just wish him a speedy recovery.

“He’ll be working with a great medical team and they’ll get him back when he’s ready – he won’t be under any pressure.

“It is a blow as leading up to his injury he was in fantastic form but it’s a blow we can get over.

“As painful as losing Corry is, it is cushioned by the fact that we’ve got the likes of Lee Williamson, who was magnificent for us last season, and Alex Marrow, who started the season well for us, and Dickson Etuhu coming back. So the competition is there.

“We knew we had to strengthen in that area at the beginning of the season and it has proved the right decision.”

Evans, a summer signing from Hull City, missed Saturday’s shock 1-0 home loss to Charlton Athletic.

After the game Bowyer bemoaned referee Kevin Wright’s decision to allow Simon Church’s seventh-minute winner to stand.

The Rovers chief felt the Wales international striker had brought the ball down with his arm before planting a side-footed volley past Jake Kean.

Bowyer’s opinion had not changed after watching the match back yesterday.

He said: “The thoughts two days later are somewhat similar to the time – it was a frustrating afternoon.

“We’ve watched the game again today on the video and we standby that it was a handball.

“That said we had plenty of time to get back into the game. We huffed and puffed and put balls into their box but the ball just didn’t bounce for us and their goalkeeper has made a very good save from Jordan (Rhodes).

“We just needed a little bit more care in the final third but at least we were the team doing our hardest to get back into it. I don’t think our fans could say we weren’t trying.

“You look at all the results in the Championship over the weekend – it’s a strange division and we have to remain mindful of that. On their day anybody can beat anybody.

“What we have to do now is try and bounce back and put on a performance at Blackpool on Saturday.”

Rovers U21s, meanwhile, have been drawn at home to Derby County U21s or Hull City U21s in the last 32 of the U21s Premier League Cup.