GAEL Bigirimana has admitted he knew he was ill before agreeing a loan move to Rangers during the January transfer window.
The 21-year-old Burundian midfielder won’t kick a ball for Rangers due to Scottish FA rules, but he hinted at a return to Glasgow in the future.
Stuart McCall revealed last week that the nature of Bigirimana’s illness would render him unable to play for Rangers, along with the injured Shane Ferguson and Kevin Mbabu, who McCall feels is not match-fit for first-team action.
But the Newcastle United midfielder told the Daily Record he didn’t think his illness would prevent him from playing.
He said: “I didn’t know I wouldn’t be able to play. I didn’t think it would be a problem that would stop me playing. Nobody told me.
“Yes, I knew I had a problem but I didn’t think it would stop me playing here because that problem didn’t stop me playing in England.
“I came here because I wanted to help Rangers out and I’ve come to like the place so much and the club as well.
“But what’s happened has happened and if I can’t play for Rangers because of my medical condition then hopefully, when this gets sorted, one day I’ll come back. Hopefully I’ll get another chance to come here on loan or permanently.
“I don’t know when I will be able to play again. I can’t tell you that to be honest.”
It has been reported that the ‘Newcastle Five’ were signed for the Ibrox club without undergoing rigorous medical testing.
Since the quintet signed, only Haris Vuckic has appeared regularly.
Defender Remie Streete limped off less than 45 minutes into his debut while Ferguson has yet to even join up with Rangers at Murray Park.
Mbabu has appeared in one of two development league matches while Bigirimana hasn’t played since appearing as a substitute for Newcastle United Under-21s on the day he signed for Rangers.
And the deal could cost Rangers more than £60,000 by the end of the season, with reports that each player is costing the Ibrox side £1,000 a week, working out at around £65,000 if the current arrangement stays in place until the end of the 2014/15 season.
A Rangers spokesman told the Daily Record: “The manager has previously confirmed Gael Bigirimana has a medical condition and due to confidentiality the club cannot disclose any further details or discuss this matter further.
SCOTSMAN TABLET AND MOBILE APPS