Rangers have been dealt a major fitness blow with Steven Gerrard’s update on James Tavernier ahead of the double-header with Slavia Prague. 

Tavernier was injured in the first leg of the Europa League tie against Antwerp, and has missed the subsequent three games.

It looks like he could be out for a while longer.

“James has been slower than we wanted,” Gerrard said. “It’s difficult to put a date on his return. He hasn’t had a setback, it’s one of those injuries where you have to be patient with it.” [Glasgow Times]

With Tavernier and Leon Balogun out, Nathan Patterson started against Livingston in the Premiership on Wednesday as Gers took another step closer to the Premiership.

Rangers

Tav’s absence won’t have an impact on the Premiership, with Gers homing in on a certain 55.

However, if one man deserves to be on the pitch when we win the title, it’s our skipper.

We only need four points so he might well still be crocked if Gers carry on the form we’ve been showing this season. The title could even be won this weekend if Celtic drop points.

More worrying though is the two-legged Round of 16 tie against Slavia Prague.

From what Gerrard is saying, it doesn’t sound like he’s going to be fit for the first leg in the Czech Republic a week on Thursday.

Slavia Prague travel to Ibrox for the decider a week later in a game that will define whether this season is incredible or just amazing.

We desperately hope that Tav is back for at least one of these games and the one bit of hope we have is that Gerrard has said he hasn’t suffered a setback.

However, the prognosis doesn’t look good at the moment and that could see another huge opportunity open up for Patterson.

As good as he can be, losing Tavernier for the two Europa League games will see Rangers facing a major challenge.

In other Rangers news, Gerrard hits back after latest Chris Sutton anti-Rangers tirade

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