Grant McCann admits he has reluctantly put the reins on Tommy Rowe's return to action - but is targeting the derby with Barnsley as a potential comeback for the captain.
Rowe returned to training last Monday with McCann initially suggesting he could play some part in either the FA Cup clash with Chorley or Wednesday night's trip to Notts County.
But the Rovers boss has no arranged a behind-closed-doors friendly against a Notts County side next Tuesday, ahead of the FA Cup replay against Chorley in the evening.
And he hopes Rowe will come through that game unscathed to feature at Oakwell next weekend.
"Tommy will play in a reserve game next Tuesday on our training ground against Notts County before the Chorley game," McCann said.
"It'll be mainly made up of our U18s.
"It's important we get some minutes before we push him back into the first team.
"That game has been set around for Tommy.
"He'll have had two full weeks with us to get the intensity we train at back into him, he'll play that game and then all being well he'll be back involved with us."
McCann admits his and Rowe's shared positivity needed to be tempered as they approached the comeback from a hamstring injury which has kept the skipper out for two months.
But he says the ultimate goal is ensuring Rowe is fit for the rest of the season.
"I want fit Tommy Rowe fit for tomorrow, next week and the week after," McCann said.
"If we have to be careful with him to make sure he's fit and available for the rest of the season then we'll do that.
"There's no point in rushing someone back, especially in the area he plays in where we've got good numbers.
"We can make sure he's right, fit and ready to go for us for the rest of the season.
"That's the goal really.
"And it'll be brilliant to have him back."
Rovers are still awaiting the prognosis on the hamstring injury suffered by Paul Taylor but Alfie Beestin is back in training following a bout of illness.