Secret Rangers weapon Kemar Roofe is back from injury and ready for deployment in the Old Firm clash with Celtic.

The Jamaican international striker marked his starting return to the Rangers side with a goal in the 2-0 win over Ross County.

And whilst apprehensive Rangers fans are still getting used to the idea the striker is actually back, Kemar Roofe has been talking about his injury ahead of the clash with Celtic.

In line to start at Ibrox this afternoon, the forward claims a troublesome hip operation and subsequent recovery is behind him with the focus all on making up for lost time.

Stating that he feels as good as he has in a long time, a potentially fully fit Kemar Roofe is a monumental boost to Rangers’ forward options.

In lengthy quotes below, the striker explains that as a result of the Ibrox club’s disastrous season, the ex-Leeds forward could finally get much needed surgery on the problem.

This time has now been spent on rehab and – if the match against Celtic goes to plan – Rangers fans could finally come round to the idea that the forward will be a genuine option for the side.

Celtic FC v Rangers FC - Scottish Cup Semi Final
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Kemar Roofe feeling as good as ever ahead of Celtic clash

“I am feeling as good as I have in a long time,” said Roofe, as quoted by the Glasgow Times.

“My body is finally working. I can do stuff that I couldn’t do before. A lot of the time I was using desire to get myself through games and through training. I would tell coaches and physios that I was fine when I was probably not. That’s just how I am, I want to play. Now I can finally wake up and think, ‘yeah, I feel good now’. 

“I needed a hip operation. I had always put it off because it was a three or four-month rehab. As a player you haven’t got that sort of time. Unless I couldn’t literally kick a ball, I wasn’t going to do it. And I thought I could get myself through many years and I did. I bet you guys never even knew I had a hip injury. That’s finally sorted. I went to Aspatar in Qatar for my rehab and got a programme that I keep following to this day. So far it’s working. 

“It had been in my head for a very long time. I had known about it for many years and every physio or doctor I spoke to said ‘ooft’ because it is a big rehab. Also, as a player you don’t want to be taking time out. I’m here to win and I can’t do that if I am out for three months. Yes, I have been out with different types of injuries but that is part of football – and it was also a secondary effect of my hip. 

“I only played five or six times last season, we weren’t really getting anywhere and we were out of different cups. So it was time for me to do it. I had just had enough, physically and mentally, of keep pushing through it only to keep breaking down. So I just thought ‘that’s it, let me get it sorted’.  It’s a relief. I can wake up in the mornings and feel good, not have to worry about what is going to go wrong. I can do what I want to do. In my head I wanted to do things but my body couldn’t. That is sometimes the main battle I have during games. It’s not actually what is going on, it’s me versus myself.  Can I do this? Shall I do it? Let me do it?”

Rangers v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership
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“For me, and it’s a cliché but the next game is always in my head. Can I win in the next game? Can I score or create? That’s all I care about. If I do that the rest will take care of itself.”

Rangers signed Kemar Roofe for a reported £4.5m back in the summer of 2020 and the striker went on to be the club’s top league scorer as they pipped Celtic to the title.

The subsequent seasons have been frustratingly interrupted with injury and as a result the striker has somewhat faded into the background at Ibrox.

These kinds of comments will be encouraging to fans but the challenge is now for Kemar Roofe to go and prove he can be a consistent part of Rangers’ artillery – and it starts v Celtic.

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