Rangers attacker Josh Windass believes defender David Bates will be a “huge miss” for the Ibrox giants after being ruled out for six weeks with ankle ligament damage sustained in last weekend’s Old Firm clash.

Bates has been a standout for the Gers since coming into the side against Celtic in the 0-0 draw at Celtic Park in December before being stretchered off after 16 minutes last Sunday.

Manager Graeme Murty confirmed at his press conference on Friday that the 21-year-old faced a spell on the sidelines after a scan confirmed the extent of the damage done in the collision with Celtic’s Tom Rogic.

Windass said the former Raith Rovers defender has been “brilliant” for Murty’s side since the turn of the year after coming in to replace the crocked Bruno Alves.

“Ginge be a huge miss for us. Been Brilliant since he came in,” Windass said on his personal Twitter account.

The 21-year-old is out of contract in the summer after his move from Raith Rovers in August 2016.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

The defender initially joined the Gers’ Under-20’s side on a development loan but done enough to impress then-manager Mark Warburton to offer him a permanent contract.

Bates has made 17 appearances for the Light Blues this season and was close to forcing his way into Scotland manager Alex McLeish’s first squad after replacing Gordon Strachan as national team boss.

Football Insider verdict:

Bates will be a big miss for the Gers after forcing his way into the side and impressing since January. The 21-year-old has exceed expectations this season and had someone 12 months ago that he would be on the brink of a Scotland cap there are few who would have believed it. He’s never going to win any plaudits for his technical ability but the former Raith defender has a nack for putting himself in the right place at the right time to disrupt attacks. The timing will be a big blow for the defender too with talks ongoing over a new deal although Bates will have lost a little leverage in his negotiating now he is sidelined.

In other Rangers news, Allen’s Ibrox masterclass would continue if he signed this midfielder who humiliated Scott Brown.

Don’t miss out on breaking and exclusive Rangers and Celtic news by clicking here for our brilliant 24/7 updates on FacebookInstagram and YouTube.