Steven Gerrard has teased a possible major Rangers boost ahead of Sunday’s Scottish Cup fourth round clash with Celtic, by suggesting that James Tavernier is close to returning to action [RangersTV].

Tavernier is a leading contender for the Gers’ Player of the Year award.

Dundee United v Rangers - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership
James Tavernier and Connor Goldson have been two standout performers for Rangers this season. (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

He has scored 17 goals and notched 15 assists already this season as well as contributing to a plethora of clean sheets, all while wearing the armband.

However, the man who will lift 55 in mid-May hasn’t featured since picking up a knee injury in a Europa League Round of 32 clash against Royal Antwerp on 18th February.

Leon Balogun and Nathan Patterson have deputised since then, with the latter playing particularly well.

Yet, it would still constitute a major boost if the skipper was passed fit to face the Hoops and Gerrard says there’s a chance that could happen.

“James will train with the team today full contact for the first time,” said the manager on Friday morning [RangersTV]. “Yesterday, he trained but there were conditions on him and everyone else around him just to let him ease his way in.”

“But he’ll train with full contact today and it’s a situation we’ll make a real late call on. We’ll see how he looks today and tomorrow – there’s still two big sessions in terms of the preparation – but the good news is that he’s on the verge, if you like.”

“Assuming he has two strong sessions, it will probably push me towards involving him, but I’m not in a position to make that decision just yet.”

Celtic v Rangers - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership
Steven Gerrard has teased a possible big boost for Rangers ahead of their Scottish Cup clash against Celtic. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Even if Tavernier is only initially fit enough to return to the bench, his presence should give the group a big lift on derby day.

The Gers won the opening two Old Firms of the season with Tav in the side but drew the third at Celtic Park last month when he watched on from the stands.

In other news, Rangers have reportedly taken a promising player on trial

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