HARRY Chapman could be back in the Rovers squad as early as next weekend as the Middlesbrough loanee looks set to step up his rehabilitation.

Chapman is pencilled in to feature for Rovers Under-23s in their game with Newcastle United at Leyland on Monday after returning to Brockhall this week.

Boss Tony Mowbray is delighted with the fitness of Chapman, and the work of the 20-year-old's permanent club, after his long-term lay-off.

The winger hasn't played since undergoing surgery on a hamstring tear in September. But he has trained with the squad this week and should he come through Monday's game unscathed, could play a part in next weekend's trip to Gillingham.

Mowbray told the Lancashire Telegraph: “Everyone is delighted that Harry is back and to be fair fantastic from Middlesbrough that he’s back practically ready to play a game.

“He’s not back just to start training, so he’s trained Monday and Tuesday, will train Thursday and Friday and will get a run-out for the Under-23s on Monday night to give him the confidence of playing a football match.

“If he comes through that then I don’t see why he couldn’t be sitting on the bench as early as next week.

“Let’s be happy he’s back, I know the players are, I could hear them all laughing around the dining area as they do when Harry’s around because he’s generally doing something stupid.

“It’s a fantastic vibe among the group, they are confident, looking forward to the next game.

“We’ve all seen the impact that Harry can have, he will start as he did the early part of the season on the bench and see if he can impact when he comes on.”

Mowbray handed game-time to a number of fringe players in Wednesday's Lancashire Senior Cup tie with Bury which Rovers lost on penalties.

Peter Whittingham played 45 minutes on his comeback from a calf injury, while Craig Conway and Dominic Samuel were among those who played the full game.

Mowbray added: “The lads who played needed a game, it’s been a while for some of them since they last played a competitive match.

“As we saw, rusty is the wrong word, but when you throw a team together who haven’t been with each other for a while it was a typical pretty low key affair.

“We have a lot of players to select from and hopefully we can pick the right team and get a positive performance and the right result.”

Rovers will monitor the fitness of Ryan Nyambe ahead of this weekend's game with Blackpool but Mowbray reported no fresh injury worries.

He said: “There are a couple of players with knocks that we are looking at.

“Nyambe has had a knee in his glute, but I’m sure he’ll be fine.

“There are no major worries or concerns.”