By Amir Mir

Mark Lawrenson has hit out at Rangers midfielder Joey Barton by claiming he has ruined his career by a “niggling brain injury”.

The official club website revealed on Monday afternoon in a club statement that the 34-year-old won’t return to Ibrox or Auchenhowie for a period of three weeks following an alleged bust-up with team-mate Andy Halliday.

Ex-Liverpool defender Lawrenson has now claimed that Barton “must” have had an exchange with one of the coaching staff, as he slammed the one-cap England player for his actions.

“Promising career ruined by niggling brain injury,” Lawrenson told BBC Football Focus.

“I don’t think it’s so much about the argument with the player [Halliday]. It must be one of the coaching staff, it has to be for the club and Mark Warburton to have acted the way they have acted. There is more to that than just him and Halliday.”

Barton signed for the Scottish giants in the summer after helping Sean Dyche’s Burnley win promotion to the Premier League last season.

The former Premier League player was part of the Gers side that got hammered 5-1 by rivals Celtic prior to the alleged incident.

However, his career has not been short of controversy with spells at Manchester City, Newcastle, QPR and a loan stint in France with Marseille glittered over his 14-year professional career.

Barton had featured in eight games for Warburton’s side before the incident and was considered a key part of the Ibrox midfield.

In other Rangers team news, Celtic supporters react on Twitter to League cup draw against the Gers.