By Wayne Veysey

23rd Mar, 2017 | 6:23pm

Shattering Rangers blow as playmaker ruled out for the season

By Harry Sykes

Niko Kranjcar has revealed to the Rangers website that he does not expect to play again for the club this season.

The Croatian playmaker is rehabilitating from a cruciate ligament injury that he sustained back in October, just two months after joining the Scottish giants.

It had been hoped that former Tottenham, QPR and Portsmouth ace Kranjcar may play some part in the latter stages of this season but the player has knocked the possibility on the head in a blow to newly appointed manager Pedro Caixinha.

Kranjcar, 32, explained that his plan is to return to full training at the start of May and focus on giving his all for the Rangers next season rather than rushing back before the Scottish Premiership run-in finishes.

“I don’t think I can play this season, I think it is too soon and I think it would be too risky,” said Kranjcar to the official Rangers website. “We will assess things come May but that is not the plan, it never was the plan.

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“I have a regular six month check-up with the surgeon at the beginning of May and I’ll talk with him about where I am at and what I am doing.

“The goal since the surgery was to get fit, go through the pre-season and then be more than ready for next season.”

Kranjcar arrived at Ibrox on a two-year contract following his release from American outfit New York Cosmos.

The 81-times Croatia international had a mixed start to his Rangers career as he struggled with his fitness and looked a shadow of the player who once tore opponents to shreds during his prime.

Kranjcar scored three goals and supplying three assists from 15 appearances in all competitions but only one of those goals cam in nine league encounters as he struggled to make an impact against the stronger teams.

Nevertheless, his pedigree is clear and Caixinha would not doubt love to be able to call upon his matchwinning qualities as the team chase a top-two league finish and Scottish Cup glory.

In other Rangers news, one of the club’s midfielders has agreed the terms of a mammoth new deal.

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