Rangers have been dealt a major double blow ahead of their Europa League Round of 32 second-leg clash against Royal Antwerp, with James Tavernier (knee) and Kemar Roofe (calf) both ruled out through injury [Glasgow Live].
Both players were forced off with knocks in the first half of Rangers’ 4-3 first-leg win in Belgium on Thursday night and missed Sunday’s Premiership win over Dundee United, although Roofe was ineligible anyway following his recent retrospective violent conduct charge.
Tavernier has been a near ever-present for the Gers this season and is a contender for the Player of the Year award, while even though Roofe has had a number of injury issues since his arrival at Ibrox, he has also played a big part in all competitions and scored two remarkable goals during the group stages.
However, Steven Gerrard will have to do without the duo for a number of upcoming matches, including Thursday’s big European tie.
“James and Kemar will miss the next couple of weeks at least,” confirmed the manager [Glasgow Live]. “It’s difficult to put an exact date on their return but they will certainly miss the next couple of weeks.”
“All being well we should see them in two to three weeks.”
After facing Antwerp, the Gers have a free weekend before taking on Livingston on Wednesday 3rd March and St Mirren on Saturday 6th March and it sounds like Tavernier and Roofe will miss all of those fixtures.
However, an international block follows the clash with the Buddies and the Gers’ next match after the break, an Old Firm at Parkhead, isn’t until 21st March.
Therefore, there’s a chance that the duo could return for a potential title party at the home of the club’s fiercest rivals.
After Sunday’s win over Dundee United, Gerrard heaped praise on a substitute and dropped a selection hint for the second leg vs Antwerp.