Rangers have been dealt a “huge” blow after James Tavernier was ruled out for a couple of weeks, according to Noel Whelan.

The former Aberdeen striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the Light Blues are at a pivotal point of their season and would sorely miss the 29-year-old’s quality and leadership.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, Gerrard confirmed the Gers would be without their right-back and captain for “the next few, for sure”.

Tavernier limped off to be replaced by Leon Balogun after just 24 minutes in Thursday night’s 4-3 win against Royal Antwerp.

Rangers return to league action against Dundee United on Sunday, while their second of the Europa League tie at Ibrox is next Thursday.

Whelan admitted losing Tavernier was a cruel blow at a pivotal time for, with the right-back set to miss both the crunch knock-out tie as well as the final push for the league title.

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Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “He’s been a key cog in that Rangers outfit – the captain there, the assists and goals he’s scored, set pieces as well let’s not forget.

“He is going to be a massive miss, they are going to be hoping it is not a very bad injury and they can get him back as quickly as possible because you need leaders out there and he’s been one all season.

“He’s been at the club a long time now, he’s really come into his own this year, not just for the goals and the assists but the performances, the leadership that he gives that team out there on the field as well.

“That’s going to be a huge miss, an influential player like that could be missing in this really important run in.”

In other news, Football Insider has delivered a major update on Leon Balogun’s future at Rangers after late twist.