In just over a week’s time, Rangers return to domestic action against Dundee United at Ibrox. Assuming all our internationals come back in one piece from the break, and there are no further injuries for the players in training who aren’t away on duty, Steven Gerrard is set, for nearly the first time, to have a completely fit squad available to him. Except, that is, the long-term injury to Niko Katic.
The current injury toll aside the Croat is Cedric Itten, Joe Aribo and Jermain Defoe – but all three were slated for a return after the break.
Which means, should no further knocks arrive to our Nation’s League representatives, a complete compliment of players for the manager to choose from against the Arabs next weekend.
Obviously there’s disappointment that Katic’s prognosis is not great, and we’re unlikely to see him this calendar year, but of course Helander, Goldson and Balogun have done pretty much impeccably, and George Edmundson is also waiting in the wings, having barely put a foot wrong in pre-season.
So Gerrard gets to enjoy having every single piece of artillery available at his disposal for the next league fixture, with the only three personnel issues now being:
Just how fit is Kemar Roofe – and how close is he to full match sharpness?
What about Itten – is he ready to fully lead the line, and replace Alfredo Morelos?
And indeed, Morelos? Does he sit on the bench till sold or does he still have a role?
Other than that, Gerrard’s issues are welcome – a bunch of key selection decisions and an XI which just about picks itself these days, but notably boosted by the return of Nigeria’s Aribo.
One more small dilemma is there of McLaughlin v McGregor but that is probably moot – McLaughlin has the jersey till he loses it, and McGregor is still emotionally recovering from the atrocious attack on his property recently.
But, aside Katic, Gerrard’s full squad is a fantastic sign, and hopefully we can keep all of them fit.