Rangers will soon receive a big injury boost after Giovanni van Bronckhorst confirmed that defender Leon Balogun is close to a return [RangersTV].
Balogun has been Connor Goldson’s main centre-back partner this season, with Filip Helander missing much of the campaign to date with a knee injury and Jack Simpson barely getting a look in.
The Nigeria international has made 18 appearances across all competitions but hasn’t featured since going off with ten minutes remaining in the Premier Sports Cup semi-final defeat to Hibs on 21 November.
The Gers have been coping in his absence with Calvin Bassey deputising well, but fans will be relieved when Balogun is back on the teamsheet.
Saturday afternoon’s clash with Dundee will come too soon for him, but GvB has asserted that the 33-year-old will be back with the group at Auchenhowie on Sunday.
“Yes,” replied the manager after being asked if Balogun was close to a return [RangersTV]. “Leon will train with the squad on Sunday, so we’ll have to see his fitness in the coming days but he’s a player who we’ll have back really soon.”
🎙️ PRESS CONFERENCE | Giovanni van Bronckhorst spoke to the media ahead of tomorrow's match against Dundee. pic.twitter.com/35Q33rULcZ
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) December 3, 2021
It’s unlikely that Balogun will be rushed back into the starting XI for Thursday’s trip to Lyon in the Europa League as progression to the preliminary knockout round has already been secured.
However, it does sound like he should be available for subsequent December fixtures against Hearts, St Johnstone, Dundee United, St Mirren and Aberdeen and if he is, that would be a major boost for the Gers.