Rangers defender David Bates could miss the rest of the Scottish Premiership season after it emerged that the youngster would require six weeks of treatment when he damaged ankle ligaments against Celtic.
However, one game that he will definitely miss is the Scottish Cup semi-final set for next month and it’s a massive blow for Bates who had just established himself in the side.
It’s also a huge dent in Rangers’ hopes of finally getting a victory over their bitter rivals.
Graeme Murty admitted in The Scottish Sun ahead of the weekend’s visit of Kilmarnock to Ibrox: “David Bates damaged the ligaments in his ankle.
“It’s likely to be a minimum of six weeks out for David sadly.
“He’s a big loss for us but it is an opportunity for the rest of the guys in the squad to step up and fill the space.”
At just 21, the youngster has become a mainstay of the Light Blues backline under Murty’s regime, capitalising on club captain’s Lee Wallace’s absence, and establishing himself as a firm fan favourite.
Alongside Russell Martin, the partnership at the back was blossoming up until last weekend’s clash with Celtic.
And when the young Scot had to be substituted after just 16 minutes of the Old Firm derby last weekend, the influence of the defender was apparent.
Bruno Alves showed that he doesn’t have the same influence at the back when he teamed up with Martin in the 1-0 loss to Kilmarnock on Saturday, and Rangers fans will be fearing the worst if they marshalling the backline in the semi-final in April.
There is, of course, a slight chance that the Bates could be fit in the time for the final, should Murty’s side make it past the Hoops, but that all depends on how quickly he can regain full fitness once the ankle problem has subsided.
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