Rangers manager Steven Gerrard

Noel Whelan insisted that it would be a “big blow” to Rangers if Ryan Jack is sidelined for a significant period after he limped off early on against Dundee United last weekend.

The former Aberdeen and Leeds United striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed that while it would be difficult to replace the “special” 28-year-old Steven Gerrard has options in that position.

The centre-midfielder was substituted just 11 minutes into Saturday’s 4-0 win over Dundee United with a calf injury and is expected to miss Thursday’s Europa League tie at Lincoln Red Imps.

It was one of a number of injury blows for Gerrard who lost centre-half Leon Balogun before kick-off while Brandon Barker and Alfredo Morelos were also forced off.

Jack has established himself as one of the first names on the team sheet at Ibrox and has started every came of the 2020/21 campaign to date.

The Scotland international missed a number of games with a knee injury last season and Whelan hopes the midfielder is back soon.

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“It ‘s a big blow and would be an even bigger one if he was out for a long time,” he told Football Insider.

“We saw him get injured last season and when you lose a special player like that, who plays in such a crucial area of the field it can be really difficult.

“It disrupts a few things but Steven will understand that injuries are part and parcel of the game. He has got backup in that area that can step in for Jack.

“Morelos also got a nasty gash on the side of his leg but I do not think it will keep him out for too long. A couple of concerns for Steven but you will get that through the season. That is why you need a decent size squad full of quality players.”

In other Rangers news, Alan Hutton tips player yet to be seen this season to start on Thursday.