Rangers appear to have been dealt a triple availability boost ahead of Saturday’s 2021/22 Premiership opener against Livingston but Steven Gerrard has confirmed one significant injury blow [Rangers FC Twitter].
The Gers have been without several key players for the latter stages of pre-season.
Alfredo Morelos has been absent after taking a break following the Copa America and Ryan Jack hasn’t yet returned to action following surgery, while Joe Aribo, Kemar Roofe and Brandon Barker all missed recent friendlies without an explanation being offered by the club.
Current quarantine rules meant that Morelos was never going to be available this weekend, but Gerrard has confirmed a blow regarding Jack.
The 29-year-old had hoped to be back fit for pre-season but the recovery and rehab process is taking longer than expected and not only will he miss Saturday’s opener, he’s set to be on the sidelines for at least a few more weeks.
That means he’ll be unavailable for crucial Champions League qualifiers as well as league action.
“We still have Ryan Jack to return, he has one more appointment in a few weeks to get the green light to fully return,” said the manager [Rangers FC Twitter].
It’s not all doom and gloom, though.
That’s because it appears that Aribo, Roofe and Barker are all in contention to return at the weekend.
“We have a fully fit squad training today, the only absence is Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Jack. We have a couple of players who we will make a late decision on but we are 99% fit, available and ready to go.”
Rangers were very impressive last Sunday in their 2-1 victory over Real Madrid and this update suggests they should have an even better squad available for the start of competitive action.
The absence of Jack is an undoubted blow given how influential he can be, but with Steven Davis, Glen Kamara, John Lundstram, Scott Arfield and Joe Aribo all likely to be available, the Gers should still have more than enough to dominate the midfield on Saturday.
Here’s our Predicted XI for the opening day fixture.