ROVERS captain Brian Stock could return from injury as soon as September - three months earlier than expected.
There were initial fears that the 29-year-old midfielder would be sidelined till the New Year after undergoing ankle reconstruction surgery this summer.
But Stock is making good progress, and Rovers’ medical staff hope the former Preston man will return to training in six to eight weeks time.
Head physio John Dickens told the Free Press that Stock is ahead of schedule - but warned that the influential playmaker will have to be eased back into the frame gradually.
In addition to the ankle injury, Stock is still troubled by a niggling back problem - and there is a chance that boss Sean O’Driscoll may have to use his captain more sparingly this season.
Billy Sharp and Mustapha Dumbuya, meanwhile, both sat out Rovers’ 1-1 draw at Armthorpe on Thursday with sore ankles.
The pair were expected to return to full training this morning.
*Rovers today confirmed the signing of former Leeds United skipper Richard Naylor.
The defender has signed a a short term contract at the Keepmoat Stadium.