Steven Gerrard has been hit by a major blow ahead of Thursday’s titanic clash with Swiss giants Young Boys with the loss of potentially four or even five major first-team hitters.
Jordan Jones, as reported, suffered a setback in training recently, and although he was ineligible anyway for the group stage (having been omitted from the squad earlier this year) it’s still a blow to be without an international’s services at this critical time in the season. We wish the winger a very speedy recovery.
Steven Davis has of course been ruled out for up to a month, after a ‘knock’ in training, said to be a foot injury – while the midfield was just about able to make up for his absence against Celtic, it’s safe to say his form since last the split last season has been been electric and the NI international has been one of Rangers’ most consistent and on-point players. Losing him is a mammoth blow and his calming influence would have been so important on Thursday.
Then there’s Filip Helander – the Swede limped off on Sunday with a reported hamstring pull, being replaced late on by Nikola Katic. Of course, many cynics, including ourselves, might conclude that Katic for Helander actually strengthens the side, rather than the other way around, but either way we still don’t want to lose our players through injury.
Ryan Jack is also a small concern – a horrific accident during a last-ditch tackle on Sunday laid the midfield fulcrum out for some time, and left his knee bleeding, but he was able to carry on and didn’t appear to have lasting effects. But that downtime was majorly worrying and we hope he will be fully fit for YB.
Borna Barisic has been receiving painkilling injections following the injury he picked up in Hamilton – it’s not been enough to stop him playing but an injury of any time is not good news and the Croat may require some badly-needed rehabilitation time to completely cure his body of this current blight.
Thankfully Ryan Kent’s reported issue came to nothing, so that is at least a boost – but Rangers may be a little thinner on options come Thursday’s mammoth showdown at Ibrox than is ideal.