Steven Gerrard has been dealt a huge blow ahead of the Old Firm clash with Celtic after Glasgow Rangers ace Scott Arfield was ruled out of action due to injury.
The attack-minded midfielder had barely missed a beat since the start of the season before he suffered an ankle injury during the 1-0 victory over Hibernian on Boxing Day.
Speaking to reporters prior to the highly-anticipated clash at the top of the Scottish Premiership, the Light Blues boss provided an injury update to Arfield after he hobbled off the pitch in the win at home to Hibs.
Gerrard said, as quoted by The Scotsman: “The scan came back and we are just waiting on a few more opinions on it.
“We’ve had one opinion on it and he will obviously be missing in the short term. He will definitely be missing for a few weeks, that’s for sure.
“But in terms of the exact date or time, it’s very difficult to say right now. He will certainly miss the next two or three fixtures.”
Arfield has been an integral part of Gerrard’s side since he first arrived at Ibrox, starting five out of his six appearances and playing the full 90′ minutes on three occasions in the Europa League this season, via Transfermarkt.
The Rangers manager revealed the club are still waiting the results of a second scan to show the full extent of the injury, but expects him to be out of action for several weeks.
Rangers will also be without Ryan Jack for the second Old Firm derby of the season, as Gerrard previously confirmed he will be forced to sit and watch from the sidelines as he works his way back to fitness.
“It has taken a little bit longer than we thought, so that is just not clear at the moment. I don’t really want to rush that, so he won’t be available for the next game,” the Ibrox boss previously stated.
There’s no doubt that losing Arfield for the foreseeable future will be a devastating blow for Gerrard as the Gers seek to juggle both domestic and European competitions whilst trying to prevent Celtic from winning an unprecedented ten titles in a row, with the 32-year-old central midfielder proving to be a key cog in the engine room.
No midfielder has scored more goals than the former Canada international with Arfield accounting for seven goals across all competitions so far this season, via Transfermarkt. Only three other players in the entirety of the Premiership have provided more assists than Arfield (5) has achieved in 20 appearances in the top flight, though it’s worth pointing out at least half of those appearances have come off the bench.
He will be sorely missed by Gerrard at Ibrox as the Gers look to kick-off the New Year in style, having scored the second goal against Celtic to secure a victory over the eventual champions last season.
AND in other news, Glasgow Rangers defender Filip Helander badly let Gerrard down vs St. Mirren…