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Rangers dealt injury setback ahead of Lyon clash

Glasgow Rangers have been dealt a huge injury setback ahead of their upcoming Europa League fixture.

What’s the latest?

In recent comments cited by Goal, Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst revealed that, despite the centre-back having returned to first-team training this week, Leon Balogun will be unavailable for selection against Olympique Lyonnais on Thursday evening.

The 33-year-old has still not fully recovered from an injury picked up the club’s League Cup semi-final defeat to Hibernian back in November.

Speaking about the current state of his squad, the 46-year-old said: “Regarding the team news, I think Leon Balogun cannot travel [to face Lyon]. We still have a training session left and so far we have everyone on board. We just have to wait until after the training before I can announce my squad.”

Have Rangers missed Balogun?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Van Bronckhorst will be gutted

While it is true that Thursday evening’s fixture is not overly important in the grand scheme of things – as Rangers have already secured their place in the knockout stages of the Europa League – the fact that Balogun has not recovered in time for the fixture will nevertheless have left Van Bronckhorst gutted.

Indeed, with a much more important game against third-placed Hearts coming up for Gers this weekend, Thursday’s trip to Lyon would have been an ideal game to reintroduce the centre-back to first-team football, allowing him the freedom to get back up to speed without having to worry too much about the result.

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And, considering just how impressive the £720k-rated man has been over his 11 Premiership appearances so far this season – making an average of 1.4 interceptions, 1.8 tackles and winning 7.7 duels per game, seeing him earn an average SofaScore match rating of 7.05 – once again being without the services of the defender on Sunday would undoubtedly come as a huge blow to Gers’ chances of picking up all three points at Tynecastle.

However, considering the centre-back will have now missed the club’s last five fixtures in all competitions due to his injury, the risk of starting the 33-year-old against Hearts without having played a minute of football in nearly three weeks would appear to be a rather big one.

In other news: GVB must ruthlessly axe “incredible” 25 y/o Rangers ace who can “create danger” v Lyon

Article title: Rangers dealt injury setback ahead of Lyon clash

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