By Nick Ware

13th Oct, 2021 | 1:21pm

Rangers player-coach Jermain Defoe in covid isolation

Rangers player-coach Jermain Defoe is in covid isolation, according to Procurator fiscal depute Jennifer Gilmour.

Defoe, 39, was due to stand trial at Glasgow’s Justice of the Peace court on Tuesday afternoon to face a single speeding charge [The National].

However, Gilmour told the court the reason for Defoe’s non-attendance was “covid isolation”.

Peripheral figure

Defoe was handed a new deal in the summer that saw him assume the role of first-team coach as well as a player.

While stating at the time that he was still more focused on his role as a centre-forward, rather than coach, it appears the latter is where his influence is being more keenly felt at the moment.

He has made just one appearance for the Gers this season, as an 82nd-minute substitute in the 1-0 defeat to Dundee United on October 7.

In fact, that’s the only occasion the 57-cap England international has been named in the matchday squad during the 2021/22 campaign thus far.

The arrival of Zambia international Fashion Sakala has further decimated Defoe’s chances of making the squad, despite Cedric Itten leaving for Greuther Furth in the summer.

Sakala, Alfredo Morelos and Kemar Roofe are all ahead of Defoe in the centre-forward pecking order while the likes of Ianis Hagi, Ryan Kent and Scott Wright are battling for the other two positions in attack.

Therefore, Defoe’s isolation period shouldn’t hit Steven Gerrard’s side too hard as they gear up for Saturday’s Ibrox clash with Hearts.

In other Rangers news, Jim White has delivered a significant claim on this Ibrox hero as exit mooted.