Having Ryan Jack back in training will be “like a new signing” for Steven Gerrard and Rangers, according to Noel Whelan.
The former Leeds United and Aberdeen striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted any club would miss a quality player like the Scotland international and that the midfielder will be “desperate” to get back out on the pitch.
Speaking to the media on Friday, Gerrard confirmed that the 28-year-old has returned to full training at Auchenhowie after missing nearly two months with a knee injury.
🎙️ Steven Gerrard has arrived to speak to the media.
🎙️ SG: Katic is moving along nicely, Edmundson has had a small procedure and out 3/4 weeks. Arfield has stepped rehab up well. Roofe should be back full training middle of ext week. Ryan Jack is back with the group training.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) January 15, 2021
Jack has missed 13 games across all competitions, having last played in the 4-0 win over Aberdeen in December.
Whelan compared Jack’s absence to Leeds losing Kalvin Phillips to suspension and insisted that while Rangers have coped without him, they will be buzzing to have him back.
“Look, you miss quality, whatever club you play for,” Whelan told Football Insider.
“We see with Kalvin Phillips at Leeds, we’ll notice it against Brighton and I’m sure Rangers will have noticed it without Jack as well but they’ve adapted, they’ve coped, they’ve got a big enough squad but there’s no doubt that when a quality player comes back, you can see the difference in the team.
“It’s like a new Rangers signing, a player that has the experience, a player that can play a role specifically, which he can, and what a time to get him back.
“The run into the end of the season, when you’re flying high, he’ll be desperate to get back onto the park as well and be part of the successful Rangers side.”
As well as his knee injury, Jack also missed a couple of games with a calf problem earlier in the campaign.
His fitness problems mean the Scotland star has played just 17 appearances across all competitions this season and has the likes of Steven Davis, Joe Aribo and Glen Kamara for competition.