Second Rangers key man facing weeks on the sidelines - report
By Richard Parks
Bruno Alves has been ruled out of Rangers’ clash against Celtic tomorrow (Saturday) and is facing weeks on the sidelines, according to a report.
STV claim that the senior centre-back will miss the Old Firm clash with a calf injury sustained in the Light Blues’ midweek Scottish League Cup win at Partick Thistle.
It is said that Alves could be sidelined for “for a couple of weeks” with the problem in what is a major blow to Rangers.
The 93-times Portugal international is set to be replaced in the starting XI at Ibrox tomorrow by teenager Ross McCrorie, who made his debut midweek at Firhill.
Alves reportedly becomes the second senior Rangers player to face a lengthy spell out injured.
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Manager Pedro Caixinha confirmed at his media briefing yesterday that skipper Lee Wallace will be out for between six and eight weeks with a groin injury after seeing a specialist in Manchester on Tuesday.
The loss of Alves, 35, for the Old Firm clash will be a huge blow for Rangers, given his experience and proven ability in marquee fixtures.
McCrorie stepped in at Firhill after Alves limped out of the match and the youngster equipped himself well, to earn the subsequent post-match praise of Caixinha.
But Alves has made a huge impact since joining Rangers this summer as part of a massive overhaul of the squad that endured a wretched return to the top flight last season.
The Portugese has started all six of the club’s Scottish Premiership fixtures and formed an increasingly reliable alliance with countryman Fabio Cardoso.
In other Rangers team news, a bizarre admission from Ibrox has played right into Celtic’s hands ahead of the Old Firm.