Steven Gerrard’s fitness concerns are continuing to build ahead of their game against St Johnstone this weekend, with Filip Helander the latest doubt ahead of Rangers’ trip to McDiarmid Park.
Gerrard’s squad has already been put to the test in recent weeks with injury and covid issues but they have also been impacted by the international break, with Nathan Patterson forced to withdraw from Scotland duty after picking up a knock against Moldova recently.
Now Helander looks like he could be the latest name on the list of doubts after Sweden manager Janne Andersson suggested that he could miss their clash with Greece on Wednesday due to a fitness issue.
“Filip Helander (has) run individually in the gym. Some players have been given an adapted training load and will step up gradually.”
“It’s too early to say. We can’t take it for granted.”
Given that Helander was the hero in Rangers’ last game as they triumphed 1-0 in the Old Firm derby thanks to his header, it would undoubtedly be a blow for Gerrard if he wasn’t fit for their game against St Johnstone on Saturday afternoon.
Whilst there is no real explanation as to why Helander is struggling, the fact that he is a doubt for Wednesday suggests that he might not be at full fitness when he returns to Ibrox after international duty, which will surely anger his club manager.
Gerrard was full of praise for the Swedish defender back in 2019, saying:
“He did ever so well for us in Portugal and he has stepped up and been a leader for us again. So I’m delighted with what he has done this week.”
The 41-year-old manager does have plenty of options at centre-back but has generally preferred Helander and Connor Goldson at the heart of his defence during his time as Rangers boss and will be disappointed if he has to deviate from that in important upcoming fixtures, especially with a Europa League game against Lyon to come at Ibrox next week.
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