Rangers manager Steven Gerrard will not be overly worried about losing captain James Tavernier to injury for a couple of weeks, according to pundit Noel Whelan.
As per the boss himself, as quoted by the Scottish Sun, the skipper faces a spell on the sidelines due to an appendix issue.
Young full-back Nathan Patterson deputised against Stranraer on Friday evening, and could be set for a run in the side over the next handful of matches.
Asked whether Gerrard would be disappointed by Tavernier’s absence during an interview with Football Insider, Whelan said: “He will be but I suppose this time, when they’ve got their winter break, is the best time to get it done.
“These days, when you have hernia operations or appendix operations, they’re keyhole, the way the medical teams work and Steven would have known about this, it would have been something in the plans to get it done.
“It is what it is, Steven won’t be worried about it, he’ll believe he’s got enough there. I expect him back as soon as possible, he’s integral to their game, he’s their captain and he’s had a fantastic season so far.”
How big a miss will Tavernier prove to be?
There’s no doubting that Tavernier is a massive presence for the Gers, not just as a player but as a leader too.
So far this season he has averaged 5.58 crosses and 4.56 successful dribbles per 90 minutes for the Light Blues, as per Wyscout, plus 8.31 defensive duels won per match too.
Those are impressive numbers, and they illustrate a player who is important at both ends of the pitch.
In the short term though, his absence might not be the end of the world.
Not only is likely to be relatively fleeting, but given Nathan Patterson’s eye-catching display against Stranraer on Friday night, the Gers might have one of the most exciting covering options in Scotland.