Dan Butterworth’s return to training in the same week that the EFL took the decision to increase the matchday squads to 20, and number of allotted substitutes to five, could be the slice of fortune the young attacker has craved.

Butterworth has endured a torrid time with back injuries over the course of the last year and has worked closely with Bradley Dack in recent times as the pair battle back to full fitness.

Dack made his return in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Sheffield United this week and Rovers hope Butterworth won’t be too far behind him.

Injury restricted Butterworth to just six Under-23s games last season, but those Premier League 2 outings brought four goals and a key reminder of the talent that has brought him many admirers, including Tony Mowbray.

The Rovers boss handed the 21-year-old his debut in a Carabao Cup tie against Lincoln City in August 2018, while his Championship debut arrived later that season against Bolton.

Mowbray has cursed the luck of Butterworth whose back troubles have ruled him out at a time when Rovers were light on attacking numbers after injuries to Dack and Lewis Holtby last season.

In the penultimate match of last season, Jack Vale was handed his senior debut, while Luke Brennan was given the same honour against Nottingham Forest.

And with Championship clubs now allowed to use five substitutes in matches, and squad sizes increasing from 18 to 20 in the process, several more could well get their opportunities in the months to come.

“Brennan has had an opportunity, Vale has had an opportunity, and Danny Butterworth is back training on the grass now, so somewhere down the line they will get opportunities again,” Mowbray said.

“They will get opportunities, hopefully for 20 minutes at the end of a game when we’re 3-0 up, to blood them and give them an opportunity to get their career started.”

Rovers have been dogged by unavailability issues this season, created by injuries and Covid-related absences, with Brennan having to be registered on the eve of the Forest defeat.

Mowbray has always maintained that he will always fill the bench where possible, not afraid to call young players up to his squad should they be required.

He added: “I think that’s my mindset. There might be one or two times, for instance on away games if we take 20 players to an away game because we’re mindful of having to take two coaches for spacing them out, and someone doesn’t feel right on the morning of a game, we’ll have fewer than nine subs. Most times we’ll be having more subs.”

Mowbray was a supporter of the five substitutes rule when it was introduced for the final nine games of last season as a result of the congested schedule to finish the 2019/20 campaign.

It was discontinued for this season however, that until the issue was highlighted again prior to the international break.

Mowbray has long been in favour, and has called previously on its return, not least with Rovers having been hit with Covid cases this season, and now coming into a schedule that sees them play nine games in the next month.

He has used three subs in all 11 Championship matches this season, and 34 of the 37 games of last season before five substitutes were allowed. Then he used all five in eight of the nine matches. And he feels young players across the league could well benefit.

“There are opportunities now for young players who might not otherwise get an opportunity,” Mowbray said.

“Some players, I’m sure, will have been lost over the years because the chance never came because managers needed to pick their most experienced players and keep the team together.

“Young players fall away because they don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, they don’t get the chance and I think there will be lots of positives about opportunities for young players.”