Stephen Bywater described Paul Keegan as an unsung hero after speaking of his disappointment that the midfielder has been ruled out for six weeks.
Keegan had an operation on Friday night to correct a cartilage problem and will miss the majority of what remains of the regular season. Should he return on schedule, the 30-year-old will be available for the final two games against Notts County and Scunthorpe.
Goalkeeper Bywater said Keegan will be a big loss for Rovers as they look to secure a play-off berth.
“It’s a fact that we will miss him,” Bywater said. “He’s a great lad. He’s an unsung hero on the pitch. Paul does the grafting, puts his body on the line, breaks up play.
“He’s also good around the dressing room so hopefully he’ll recover quick. It’s a big shame because when you come to these last ten games you want all your squad together.”
Rovers battled out a 1-1 draw at Gillingham on Saturday to remain in the top six.
And despite being frustrated with his side’s poor performance, boss Paul Dickov was pleased to see his side finish the weekend still in a strong position in the hunt for promotion.
He said: “We’re still there and there abouts which is what we want with 11 games left. A lot of teams will be taking points off each other.
“We’ve just got to keep picking points up. We want to win but we’re not going to win every game. If we can’t win, we have to make sure we don’t get beat and we did that on Saturday.”
James Coppinger was forced off with an ankle injury during the first half but Dickov was not too concerned about the veteran midfielder afterwards.
He said: “The lad came through Copps and just caught him on the ankle. The swelling doesn’t seem too bad so we’ll just see how he is.”