By Wayne Veysey
Rangers fear Jamie Murphy will not be able to start a game until after Christmas at the earliest as he continues his rehabilitation from a severe knee injury, Football Insider understands.
The winger, 30, has not played for the Glasgow giants in the 13 months since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament on Kilmarnock’s plastic pitch.
Ibrox sources have told Football Insider that Murphy is far from recovered from the injury and there are major doubts among the Steven Gerrard and his backroom staff about what level of impact he can actually have on the team.
The manager suggested last month that Murphy may go out on loan to reignite his career but he stayed at Rangers as he continues to work at their Auchenhowie headquarters on returning to his previous fitness levels.
There are fears it could be the turn of the year before Murphy is fully fit and the chances of him being able to start a match in the short and medium term are extremely slim.
The medical staff are carefully managing Murphy’s workload and, worryingly for the club and their supporters, that could be the situation for the coming months.
Murphy has been on the Rangers bench once this season – for the League Cup win over East Fife last month – but did not play and he has subsequently failed to make a matchday squad.
The two-times Scotland international faces a battle to convince Gerrard he can get back in the side where the wide forward positions are increasingly competitive following the blockbuster signing of Ryan Kent, who is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Murphy signed from Brighton in January of last year on an initial loan that was subsequently converted into a £1million permanent deal.
He has an impressive record for the club, scoring six goals and providing 13 assists from 27 appearances.
In other Rangers news, Alan Hutton has told Football Insider he’s heard talk of his former club agreeing landmark deal.