Sam Allardyce admits Blackburn will have to be careful with David Dunn as they look to get the best out of him this season.
Dunn marked his first appearance of the season with a goal as Rovers overcame Gillingham in the Carling Cup second round on Tuesday. The once-capped England international, 29, was impressive in the heart of midfield until being withdrawn just before the hour-mark and Allardyce is hoping he can play a big part throughout the campaign.
"It is good to have him back and hopefully he can stay fit now. He was moaning about being taken off as usual but we've got to protect him, it is the first 60 minutes he's had in a long time," said Allardyce.
"He's getting to the veteran stage of his career now. He's not quite 30 but because of the number of injuries that he's had he's had to change his whole outlook on life.
"It is all about rehabilitation and prevention rather than training as much as he used to and keeping him fit for selection on a Saturday."
Dunn fired home Rovers' opener in the sixth minute and Allardyce admits the Ewood Park outfit have missed his quality.
He added: "If we'd had a few more players over the last two games showing that quality of finishing then we'd have been going into the West Ham game with maybe three or four points rather than none.
"He showed the quality of finishing that we are looking for and also the quality of passing and final ball.
"We'll reconvene on Thursday now and start building to what is hopefully three points on Saturday against West Ham."