Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has revealed that defender Filip Helander will return to first-team action by the end of the month.
The Swedish international has not played since the beginning of December after picking up an unusual foot injury in the 1-0 defeat to Celtic in the Betfred Cup Final.
Helander was initially expected to return after the winter break, before being dealt a setback in his recovery, but Gerrard has now given a firm return date for the centre-half:
“I’m hoping he will be close towards the end of February or the beginning of March. We won’t be able to determine that until he’s back outside kicking balls again. It’s been frustrating but he’s handled the situation ever so professionally. Fil is very low maintenance; he’s a very humble guy and he accepted the injury pretty quickly.”
Gerrard also said that the £3.5m summer signing’s absence has been keenly felt in recent months:
“We’ve certainly missed him as he gives us that balance on the left side of the defence. When I have all four centre backs available, we’ll certainly be stronger.”
With his return now having been pencilled in, it appears that Helander could well be back for the Scottish Cup quarter-final against Hearts on February 29th or the league clash versus Hamilton on March 4th. However, considering he would have missed three months of football on his return, Gerrard may opt to ease the 26-year-old back into the starting eleven.