Rangers’ injury travails have exploded at the worst possible time after five first team stars were potentially laid out for the visit of German giants Leverkuson in midweek before this weekend’s Old Firm tussle.
Filip Helander, Jermain Defoe, James Tavernier, Ryan Jack and Scott Arfield are all massive doubts for the next seven days’ astronomically big matches, featuring home and away v Bayer, and the visit of Celtic, and Rangers’ form has been such that the loss of such players is far from ideal.
Helander continues to recover from his long-term injury, and while back in training he’s not quite ready yet for first-team football.
Defoe too is back, but he’s similarly not really fit enough to be considered a serious option.
Tavernier picked up a knock against Hamilton and reportedly suffered another setback in training, so he’s highly doubtful.
Jack got a bad one v Hearts and while strangely in the dugout v Hamilton, was unable to do likewise v County.
While Arfield picked up a pull in the same match, and even though a scan proved it was less serious than feared, he is a big doubt for any of the three matches in question.
Mercifully an injury scare over Matt Polster is a thing of the past as the American had a solid outing yesterday in Dingwall, and otherwise Rangers’ squad is healthy, as far as we understand.
Which means options for the next week are a bit limited.
The league is gone, and we know that, but the UEL, inexplicably, remains Rangers best (only) chance of success this season and few would bet against the side doing remarkable things over the next seven days given the ‘underdog’ status they admit they now thrive on.
Hopefully as many of those five are available as possible for it.