Alex Kiwomya is looking forward to pulling on a Rovers shirt for the first time when he lines up for the Development side against Port Vale reserves on Tuesday.
The forward signed from Premier League champions Chelsea in the summer, but picked up the rare autoimmune disorder Guillain-Barre syndrome meaning he had to drop out of pre-season training in the opening days.
He was briefly hospitalised but, after fighting the syndrome, has worked his way to fitness with the club’s coaching staff and is now looking forward to kicking a ball in anger for the first time this season.
He said: “It’s going to be good to be out there with the lads. I’m looking forward to getting out onto the pitch - I’ve been training for a week now, and hopefully can get through 45 minutes, then 60 after that then get on the bench for the first-team.
“I felt a bit rusty at first as I hadn’t touched a ball for six or seven months, but definitely don’t feel like I’ve lost any of my pace and can’t wait to get going.”
Kiwomya has spent more time with the club’s medical then fitness staff than his team-mates since joining, and he is keen to thank them for their efforts.
He added: “The support staff have been amazing, Joe the physic and Sam the masseur have been unbelievable. They really helped me through on the days I was feeling down, and massive credit to them.
“Now my aim for the rest of the season is to play as many minutes as I can while avoiding niggles. I may not get as many games under my belt as I imagined when I joined, but I just want to help the team push up the table.”
Rovers' Development side take on Port Vale reserves at Cantley Park on Tuesday January 23. Kick-off is 1pm, with entrance free.