New injury blow for Rangers as Ross McCausland withdraws from NI

New injury blow for Rangers as Ross McCausland withdraws from NI
SEVILLE, SPAIN - DECEMBER 14: Ross McCausland of Rangers reacts during the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 match between Real Betis and Rangers FC at Estadio Benito Villamarin on December 14, 2023 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

Rangers have been hit by another injury blow after it was confirmed Ross McCausland was never fit to feature after the Motherwell challenge and continues to struggle to this day with the issue, having to withdraw from Northern Ireland’s international camp.

As we suggested in recent weeks, we completely disagreed with Philippe Clement risking Colombia’s Oscar Cortes on Killie’s appalling pitch, especially when he kept Kemar Roofe off that surface specifically for injury reasons.

That one bit the manager on the backside, but there’s a caveat, sort of. We’ll get to that.

We were also surprised to see him starting Dujon Sterling v Hibernian and that one bit us too, with the utility man still suffering a hamstring issue and having missed all football since – he was already injured and this only made it worse.

And we couldn’t really understand Ross McCausland being even on the bench v Benfica when he was clearly not fit for it – Clement explained his reasons. He is another one now sidelined.

In short, Clement is a little unfortunate with injured players. He’s spoken about how he goes by the medical staff’s prognosis of how many minutes a particular player can play and has quipped it makes him more of a mathematician:

“Dujon is going to be a really doubtful one towards Sunday, we will see. We will not take a risk with him to have him out longer term. Ross McCausland also still struggled but was on the bench because you need to think that this game was possibly for 120 minutes. Scott (Wright) is coming out of injury and played a lot, Rabbi (Matondo) coming out of injury had to play minutes. I had to keep a third player also there if they could not manage to do 120 minutes together. In that way, I am more of a mathematician for the moment than a manager. That is why Ross was on the bench but he was not fully fit so we will see if he is fit for Sunday.”

AKA we are wondering what medical advice Clement is getting when every single player he’s being told can do a minute here and a minute there is clearly not working out, and the player is being curtailed longer almost every time.

See, the issue Clement has is he needs to win games – and he’s still been going with the risk reward strategy with (slightly) injured players, where he will pick an asset player for even 10 minutes even if there’s a big risk he could lose him for longer.

And yet, Clement has confirmed also that he’s backtracking on this. He’s admitted Sterling will be kept out of football till he’s 100% fit and isn’t likely to sustain a longer-term injury.

And we can now see McCausland following suit.

Playing injured players isn’t wise, but it appears Clement has been going by medical staff. It seems now that this will be reversed and he will simply keep players out of action until 100% fit, meaning physically fit.

That they might only last 20 minutes till exhausted is fine, we’d rather have that than 30 minutes then injured again.

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