In a boost for Rangers, star left-back Borna Barisic has been spotted back in training following an absence due to illness.
Barisic started each of Gio van Bronckhorst’s first seven matches in charge of the Gers but was forced off during the second half of a 2-0 win over St Johnstone last week.
GvB explained in a post-match interview that Barisic had been feeling unwell both before and during the match and that was the reason for his withdrawal rather than an injury.
He failed to recover in time for Saturday’s fixture against Dundee United at Ibrox and with Calvin Bassey filling in at centre-back, Nathan Patterson was deployed as a makeshift left-back for much of the match.
It looks like such measures won’t be required against St Mirren on Boxing Day, though, as Barisic was pictured back in training on Thursday.
He featured in a training gallery released by the club in the evening, wearing a Christmas jumper and a festive hat like the majority of his teammates.
Barisic training return a big boost for Rangers
It’s certainly a big positive to have Barisic back in training and likely primed to return against St Mirren.
The Croatian international hasn’t quite hit top form yet this season but he’s a quality operator and it’s important that the Gers have a natural left-footer at left-back.
His return strengthens the back four and boosts Rangers’ chances of recording a sixth consecutive domestic clean sheet when they take on Jim Goodwin’s depleted Buddies.
Barisic would perhaps like to have more than two assists from 21 appearances across all competitions so far this season, but his role has changed since Gio’s appointment, ensuring he isn’t spending as much time in the final third as he did under Steven Gerrard.