Noel Whelan fears Rangers have suffered a “massive blow” after Steven Gerrard confirmed that Kemar Roofe would spend a spell on the sidelines through injury.  

However, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Aberdeen and Leeds United forward suggested that the form of Alfredo Morelos and return of Jermaine Defoe will help soften the news.

Gers boss Steven Gerrard confirmed Roofe will be out for “a short time” after he suffered a hamstring injury in the midweek Europa League thrashing of Lincoln Red Imps.

He joins Ryan Jack, Brandon Barker, Joe Aribo and Nikola Katic on the sidelines after an impressive start to life at Ibrox.

Gerrard will be hopeful that the summer signing can make a full recovery in time to be fit to for the season’s first Old Firm clash next month.

When asked by Football Insider how worrying the injury news was, Whelan said:

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“It is a massive blow but the good news is that they have Defoe back now. They also have Morelos who is on fire at the moment. That is one negative and two positives for Steven Gerrard now.

“We know what Defoe is like when he is fully fit, he can get goals from anywhere. He is a natural goalscorer.

“Morelos is working hard and it seems like the relationship between him and Steven Gerrard is getting better. He is scoring goals and when strikers are scoring goals they are happy wherever they are. It was a brilliant finish from him yesterday.”

Morelos, who replaced Roofe last Thursday, has scored three goals in his last two outings including an instinctive finish in a 2-2 draw with Hibernian yesterday.

Roofe has scored two goals in five Scottish Premiership appearances so far this season.

In other Rangers news, Kevin Phillips reveals “fantastic” Gers target has been on the radar of Derby County and Stoke City.