In a possible injury blow, Rangers attacker Fashion Sakala was missing from a training gallery released by the club on Wednesday.
Sakala is one of three summer arrivals at Ibrox, having joined from Belgian top-flight club KV Oostende.
There was plenty of excitement around his transfer and he gave a glimpse of his ability with an all-action display against Real Madrid in pre-season.
He’s yet to really make an impact for the Gers in competitive football, though, and now he looks to have picked up a relatively significant injury.
Sakala was ruled out of last Friday’s League Cup clash against Dunfermline with what Steven Gerrard described as a ‘niggling groin’ problem [RangersTV].
It was suggested that he could have made the squad but that the management and medical staff had opted against ‘risking’ him.
However, on Wednesday, he was then surprisingly omitted from Rangers’ squad for the upcoming two-leg Europa League playoff against Alashkert.
With no injury update given during the press conference earlier in the day, it was unclear whether the decision was tactical or enforced.
However, it’s now looking more likely to be the latter after the 24-year-old didn’t feature in a training gallery uploaded by the club in the evening.
📸 GALLERY: Preparing for the @EuropaLeague play-off.
Click below to check out the full training gallery 👇
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) August 18, 2021
Having already missed the Dunfermline match, it now looks likely that the Zambia international will also miss the next three fixtures (Alashkert x2 and Ross County), leaving him in a race to be fit for the first Old Firm of the season on 29 August.
Sakala’s absence from both legs against Alashkert leaves the Gers relatively short of options at the top end of the pitch as Kemar Roofe continues to serve a UEFA suspension, while Jermain Defoe is only considered for domestic matches.
One transfer-listed attacker Rangers have been linked with scored a superb goal on Tuesday as his strong early-season form continues.