By Doug Ward

19th Feb, 2021 | 9:10am

McCoist: Tavernier could have suffered ligament injury in Rangers win v Antwerp

James Tavernier could have suffered a knee ligament injury as Rangers won 4-3 against Royal Antwerp on Thursday night, according to Ally McCoist.

After going in for a challenge in the first-half, Tavernier was forced off the pitch despite his best efforts to stay on.

Leon Balogun came on for the 29-year-old right-back in the 25th minute and Rangers legend McCoist was clearly worried about the Gers captain after the match.

Speaking on BT Sport 3 on Thursday night, host Darrell Currie said: “Tavernier went off the pitch injured and that’s a real blow, isn’t it?”

McCoist replied: “Absolutely, Darrell. And [Kemar] Roofe as well. It looked with Roofe it could be a recurrence of that calf injury but Tavernier’s looked a sore one.

“Allan [Hutton] and I were speaking, he goes for a block challenge and he kind of goes 70-30 and that’s when you do get hurt. It’s when you tweak your medial ligament. Hopefully it’s not.”

Ex-Gers right-back Hutton claims he suffered a similar-looking injury during his playing days.

He said: “What he’s done there, he’s just opened up and tried to block the ball instead of putting his foot over it and actually trying to strike through it. But I was worried when he came back on because I’ve done that injury myself.

“I fear for him. Hopefully it’s not [serious] but I could tell the way he passed the ball he was struggling.”

Rangers do not have a back-up right-back who’s available at the moment due to young Nathan Patterson being among the five players who broke COVID protocol at the weekend.

The 19-year-old is currently self-isolating and McCoist claims he’ll be kicking himself over his off-the-pitch behaviour.

The ex-Rangers manager and striker said: “How does that boy feel this evening sitting watching that?

“Of course he has [brought it on himself]. It’s crazy. Absolutely.

“It was inevitable something like this was going to happen. He must be sitting there saying to himself, ‘what have I done?’.”

Inevitable.

Let’s hope that Tavernier’s injury isn’t a serious as McCoist and Hutton believe it is because it would be a massive blow for Steven Gerrard to not have his captain, his only right-back and his top goalscorer available.

Of course, it’s all speculative at the moment but Tavernier would miss a lot of matches if he’s suffered any kind of ligament injury because they always tend to take a long time to heal.

Hopefully it’s nothing other than a knock and he’ll be back in time to play Dundee United on Sunday. But, let’s face it, the way he limped off the pitch suggests he won’t be.

If Patterson hadn’t been so stupid to attend that party at the weekend, he would have had over an hour on the pitch in a Europa League knock-out match on Thursday night.

He would also be in line to start at Ibrox in the Premiership on Sunday when Dundee United arrive in Glasgow.

What an idiot.

The young right-back must be absolutely kicking himself right now.

Patterson’s let himself down massively but he’s also let the team down and the fans and that is hard to forgive.

In other Rangers news, one Gers rulebreaker has shared a phone call he had with Gerrard.