Rangers could yet receive a timely Champions League boost with Ryan Jack now “week’s away” from a return following surgery on a persistent calf issue.
Gers boss Steven Gerrard was discussing the situation involving Jack, 28, ahead of the new campaign after the Scotland international midfielder missed a sizeable chunk of last season.
In positive comments, Gerrard confirmed that Jack had returned to light training but it’s currently “unopposed” with the club awaiting the green light to pit Ryan against his teammates.
“He’s good, he’s progressing well,” said Gerrard during an exclusive interview with Sky Sports.
“He sees a surgeon in the middle of next week and hopefully he gets the green light to resume full training.
“He’s training with the boys right now but it’s all unopposed which is obviously all very different.
“If we get the green light from the surgeon on Wednesday, Ryan is good to go full throttle with the group – then it’s a case of getting minutes in his legs.
“He’s weeks away but he is a big player for us that is not too far away which is exciting for me.”
This comes as a sizeable boost to Rangers ahead of the club’s Champions League qualification effort.
The Gers are hoping to make the competition’s group stages for the first time in 11 years and face two qualifiers in order to do so.
The first will take place at the beginning of August (first leg 4th, second leg 10th) against either Malmö FF or HJK Helsinki.
The Playoff round of qualifying will take place later in the month and will represent an even tougher test if the Gers can overcome the Swedish or Finnish champions.
As things stand their tie is neatly poised with Malmö running out 2-1 winners in the first leg.
Ordinarily, the return of the talented Ryan Jack would be a sizeable boost to the Gers in any circumstance but given the suspension of Glen Kamara this would be even more so.
Kamara, 25, is suspended for three of the club’s four qualification matches for his reaction to being racially abused by Czech international and Slavia Prague defender Ondrej Kudela.
Kudela has been subsequently banned for 10 games and missed his country’s trip to the European Championships.
Whilst Ryan Jack’s return from injury is promising, another of the Ibrox club’s long-term absentees is reportedly uninterested in a loan move amid Serie A interest.