A major blow for Rangers could present a big opportunity for an oft-criticised player to finally make his mark at Ibrox.

On Wednesday, the club confirmed that experienced centre-back Filip Helander would be out until December after undergoing surgery on a knee injury sustained during Saturday’s win over St Johnstone.

Rangers v Celtic - Scottish FA Cup

Rangers’ Old Firm hero has been ruled out for several months. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The Sweden international will be a big miss over the coming months and with Nikola Katic heading out on loan to Hadjuk Split on deadline day, the Gers suddenly look a little short on options at the back.

Leon Balogun is the only other natural centre-back registered for the Europa League and he should partner Connor Goldson against Lyon on Thursday night.

However, the Nigeria international doesn’t have a great injury record himself and Steven Gerrard has previously made it clear that he can’t play every game.

As a result, the door is finally ajar for Jack Simpson, who has only made two appearances so far this season.

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Rangers v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Helander’s injury is set to give fellow Rangers centre-back Jack Simpson a chance to really make his mark at Ibrox. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Gerrard recently asserted that the former Bournemouth defender was training well [RangersTV] and now it’s likely that he’ll be called upon in domestic competition.


In his seven outings during the second half of last season, he contributed to several clean sheets and helped the Light Blues to an Old Firm victory.

However, at times he looked nervy in possession and showed a tendency to get too tight to opponents, leading to a number of yellow cards and plenty of criticism from supporters.

The 24-year-old didn’t manage to shine in pre-season, either, but with significant playing time beckoning, now is his chance to make his mark at Ibrox and prove that he is of the required standard.

Meanwhile, an in-form attacking midfielder who was linked with Rangers during the summer window has given an update on his future.

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