Rangers signing Steven Smith insists the fitness issues that hampered his first spell at Ibrox are well behind him.
The 28-year-old yesterday signed a two-year contract that will take effect when the Third Division champions’ transfer embargo ends on 1 September.
Smith only made two appearances during 2007 and 2008 when a pelvic problem disrupted his early progress at Rangers, and a move to Norwich was undermined by ankle and hip injuries as well as an inability to settle off the park in Norfolk.
But he went on to play regularly for Aberdeen and Preston before making 23 appearances in the 2012 season for Portland Timbers. Despite not playing a competitive game since his season in the MLS ended in October last year, Smith is confident he will be able to hit the ground running after training at Murray Park for several months towards the end of last season.
The left-back told RangersTV: “My fitness is something which is always going to hang over me and it’s the first question I’ve been asked at every club since I left here. It’s something I’ve learned to live with and I know it’s something people will basically keep asking about for the rest of my career.
“But I’m comfortable with it. I’m fit and healthy and, even though I can’t play straight away, I’m going to be able to get a good pre-season.
“I’d have more of an issue with it if I was coming in and missing that or I was injured, but I’m not too bothered.
“When the time comes, I’m going to be ready to play and although it’ll have been almost a year since my last competitive game, I’m fine with that.
“It’s something I need to deal with and if I get a good pre-season under my belt, I don’t think it will be a problem.”