Glasgow Rangers have been dealt a fresh injury blow ahead of this afternoon’s Scottish Premiership encounter with Hamilton.
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has confirmed that Jermain Defoe is suffering from a calf injury and may undergo a scan to determine the extent of the damage.
The 38-year-old centre-forward only played for 28′ minutes against Ross County after replacing Alfredo Morelos in the second half and has been absent from the last two matchday squads.
The result started the 54-time Scottish champions’ latest three-game winning streak which they will look to extend when they travel to New Douglas Park to take on Brian Rice’s side on Sunday.
However, they will have to do so without the injured Defoe, who was the club’s top goalscorer in the league last season, which leaves Gerrard with a dilemma upfront after Morelos’ stamp on Ryan Porteous means he’s suspended.
Kemar Roofe started against St Johnstone having made a full recovery from injury, yet he looked rather short of any real confidence in front of goal, whilst it doesn’t seem Cedric Itten is trusted to lead the line and the least said about Greg Stewart, the better.
Indeed, the three-cap Swiss international has made top-flight 19 appearances in the Scottish Premiership this season and has four goals and one assist to show for his efforts, but the majority of those appearances (17) have come by way of brief cameos off of the bench.
Last season, Defoe scored 13 goals in 20 league appearances to help Rangers mount a title challenge, only to see Gerrard’s side fall short at the final hurdle.
The striker has scored two goals and provided one assist in eight Premiership appearances in this campaign and Gerrard will no doubt be hoping that the veteran will be available for their clash against Kilmarnock as Roofe himself faces a two-match ban.
The 28-year-old has been hit with a notice of complaint by the SFA after his tackle on Saints midfielder Murray Davidson and he could soon find himself on the sidelines.
This could mean the relatively inexperienced Itten is thrown in at the deep end at the top of the pitch for only his seventh start of the season at some point.
AND in other news, Rangers may rue not re-signing Billy Gilmour from Chelsea…