Rangers manager Graeme Murty has confirmed defender David Bates will need a scan on his injured ankle – and in a major boost revealed the 21-year-old hasn’t broken any bones.
Bates was hurt in the build-up to Tom Rogic’s equaliser in Sunday’s Old Firm clash and needed to be stretchered off midway through the first-half.
The former Raith Rovers defender has been a mainstay in the starting XI since the turn of the year and could be set for an extended spell on the sidelines.
Murty confirmed the Gers won’t know how severe the injury is until Bates goes for a scan.
“David is going to have a scan on his ankle, he has not broken it,” Murty said, as quoted by the club’s official website.
“It is a freak injury, he steps to the ball and goes to try and make a block and the ball flicks off his shin which takes it out of Wes’ grasp and as Rogic has a shot he comes down on David’s ankle.
“It looked a nasty one at the time and David is obviously upset but we won’t know the extent of it until we have it scanned.”
Bates hadn’t missed a game since coming into the side for Bruno Alves after the Portuguese veteran was injured in December’s Old Firm draw at Celtic Park and it will likely be the former Fenerbahce and Porto defender who comes in to replace the Kirkcaldy-born star.
The 21-year-old was close to a place in Alex McLeish’ first Scotland squad but only just missed out although would have found himself now forced to withdraw through injury.
Bates’ Rangers deal is up in the summer with talks ongoing over an extension to keep him at his boyhood heroes.
Football Insider verdict:
While it is good news there isn’t a broken bone, the potential for serious ligament damage is still there and Bates could even end up needing to undergo surgery depending on the outcome of his scan. Losing the 21-year-old will be a big blow to Graeme Murty’s plans after forcing his way into a regular start, keeping Euro 2016 winner Bruno Alves on the bench. With Bates’ deal being up in the summer it is also unfortunate timing for the defender as it’ll make it a bit harder to get a little bit extra from the club while he is sidelined through injury.
In other Rangers news, Gers reported injury blow comes at worst possible time for 21-year-old.