Rangers skipper James Tavernier will be desperate to return to action quickly so he can finish the season with the best possible stats.
That is according to ex-Scottish Premiership striker Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after the 29-year-old was pictured on social media stepping up his recovery in the gym by fellow injury absentee Kemar Roofe.
Tavernier has been missing since he was forced to withdraw after 25 minutes of Gers’ Europa League round-of-32 first-leg tie against Royal Antwerp on 18 February.
Manager Steven Gerrard later told the media that he was expected to be out for another two to three weeks.
The right-back has been in stunning form this season, netting 17 goals and providing 15 assists in 41 appearances.
Whelan claims that a player of Tavernier’s quality is indispensable to Rangers and he will be desperate to get back to action in order to boost his stats.
He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “That’s massive. He’s the captain and what a season he’s had in terms of assists and goals.
“He’ll be wanting to get back as quickly as possible to hit a milestone for goals and assists. He’ll want the opportunity to finish the season with even better stats.
“He’s had an incredible season, he really has. From full-back, it’s mental when you look at his stats.
“He’s on set-pieces and penalties, yes, but he’s got the quality. When you’ve got a leader in your side that knows the club, players like that, you miss them when they’re out, you really do.
“With the run-in, they need to get him back as quickly as possible because they want to win the league as quickly as possible.”
Leon Balogun has filled in at right-back in Tavernier’s absence and featured as Rangers secured a 9-5 aggregate win over Antwerp in the second-leg.
His side will now face Slavia Prague in the round-of-16, the Czech Republic outfit who impressively knocked out Leicester City in the previous round.