Rangers legend Barry Ferguson has opened up on Niko Katic’s knee injury blow and thinks it will force Steven Gerrard into the transfer market to shore up his squad.

The Croatian faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on a cruciate ligament injury and Ferguson has a good idea of what he’ll be going through after suffering his own horror knee injury as a player.

BLACKPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 03: Blackpool manager Barry Ferguson looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Blackpool and Charlton Athletic at Bloomfield Road on May 03, 2014 in Blackpool, England.

(Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

Fergie warned a “devastated” Katic that he’ll need to be prepared to handle setbacks in his recovery – and he expects Rangers boss Gerrard to act quickly to replace him.

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“He’s still young for a centre half and is probably a work in progress but I see a player in there and I’m sure he was coming back this summer looking to nail down his place in the starting line-up,” Ferguson told the Daily Record.

“Now, after three months in lockdown, he’s looking at another long spell out of action.

“He’ll be devastated about that. I know what it’s like to suffer a really bad knee injury as, when I was at Blackburn, I fractured my patella and damaged all my ligaments and ended up out of the game for eight months.

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“I had hoped to get back five weeks earlier but you suffer setbacks along the way and you have to be prepared for that. And so does the manager.

“He’s now a body down in a crucial position and he will want to do something about that quickly.

“Last season he had Katic, Connor Goldson, Filip Helander and George Edmundson all fighting it out for two positions so I think he’ll want another centre half to make up those numbers for as long as Katic is out of the picture.

“It could be a short term loan or a permanent transfer but either way Gerrard will be looking to increase the quality and improve the competition.”

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 29: Nikola Katic of Rangers celebrates scoring the winning goal during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on December 29, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The arrival of Calvin Bassey from Leicester City and Ross McCrorie’s return from loan will lessen the impact of Katic’s injury but Gerrard may opt to bring in another central defender anyway.

Despite the severity of Katic’s injury, the defender should return to action as good as new but it will be an incredibly frustrating time for him after four months in lockdown.

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