NEW Blackburn Rovers striker Chris Brown could play a part in Friday’s opening game of the Championship campaign at home to Cardiff City – despite the fact he has not played a minute of pre-season.

A knee injury ruled the 29-year-old out of all five of Rovers’ summer friendlies.

But Brown, a free transfer arrival from Doncaster, has trained for the last three days.

And Rovers boss Gary Bowyer has not ruled out naming the 6ft 3in frontman in his squad for the hotly anticipated clash with the Bluebirds – and from making a potential cameo off the bench.

Bowyer, whose players enjoyed a day off yesterday, said: “Browny has had three really positive days.

“If he can out on the grass on Wednesday and Thursday then there’ll be no reason why he can’t do 15-20 minutes.”

Brown has been brought in to provide competition for first-choice targetman Rudy Gestede and make an impact off the bench.

But he is yet to show Rovers supporters why Bowyer believes the former Sunderland and Preston North End forward can have a big role to play this season.

Brown sat out the opening two pre-season encounters against AFC Telford United and Accrington Stanley.

But, after returning to training, he was set to make his first appearance for Rovers against Bradford City only for his knee to flare up on the eve of the trip to Valley Parade.

The injury also ruled him out of the friendlies with Bury and Stoke City.

But should he come through unscathed over the next two days he could be named in what Bowyer hopes will be a full-strength squad for the showdown with title favourites Cardiff.

Former Bluebirds striker Rudy Gestede and Ben Marshall are overcoming sickness and played in a behind-closed-doors match against Oldham Athletic on Monday.

Jordan Spence, who is on trial at the club, also featured in the 2-2 draw and Bowyer yesterday confirmed he will continue to monitor the defender’s progress.

Bowyer is short of cover at the back.

But he admits he is unlikely to have made any further additions in time for the visit of Cardiff to Ewood Park.

“It’s up to the people above me who control the purse things,” added Bowyer, who revealed striker Luke Varney picked up a knock in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Stoke.

“I understand that and we’ll see how we go.”

Rovers would be interested in re-signing Michael Keane if Manchester United allow the England U21s international to go back out on loan.

Keane has been a regular for Louis van Gaal’s side on their high profile pre-season tour of America and Bowyer joked: “He’s just played against Real Madrid in front of 109,000 so I don’t think he’ll be in a rush to leave Manchester United.

“There will be lots of interest in Michael Keane because he’s a talented footballer.

“But he’s a Manchester United player and Mr van Gaal is having a look at him and who knows where that will go.”