By Alan Hutton

8th Jul, 2020 | 7:17pm

Hutton Exclusive: 'Bulked-up' Rangers star arrived back at Auchenhowie in shape of his life

Alan Hutton insists Rangers have been dealt a “hammer blow” after Nikola Katic suffered a serious injury blow in pre-season training.

The former Rangers and Scotland full-back, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has revealed he heard the centre-back had “bulked up” and returned to training in top shape ahead of next season.

Rangers confirmed last week that the 23-year-old is set to be ruled out for the “foreseeable future” after picking up an injury on the training ground.

As quoted by the Daily Record, Katic’s agent revealed the centre-back has suffered cruciate ligament damage and could miss the next six months of action.

Hutton admits he is gutted to see the defender sidelined after hearing exciting things about his dedication behind closed doors.

Hutton told Football Insider: “It is a real hammer blow. Obviously, we have a month to go before the season starts and, by all accounts, he’d come back really fit and raring to go, bulked up a little bit.

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“It looks like he was really putting in the hard yards to make sure he was the first choice with Goldson. It’s a blow but the thing with ACL injuries at the moment is the surgery has come on leaps and bounds and you can come back within six to eight months.

“Fingers crossed if that’s what it is he can come back as strong as ever – I’m sure he will.”

Katic played 29 times for Rangers during the 2019/20 campaign as he battled it out with Connor Goldson and George Edmundson for a place in the starting XI.

Signed back in 2018 from Slaven Belupo, the Croatia international has a total of 59 appearances under his belt for the Gers.

In other Rangers news, it can be REVEALED numerous English clubs are queuing up to sign a winger from Ibrox.

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