The former Kilmarnock stopper has not played since dislocating his shoulder against Falkirk four weeks ago.
But the 28-year-old could now be out until Christmas after popping the joint for a second time at training on Thursday. Bell is due to be operated on early next week but McCoist insists the Light Blues’ promotion hopes will be properly guarded by stand-in keeper Simonsen.
The manager said: “We always knew there was a possibility of Cammy’s shoulder coming out again but we felt it was a gamble worth taking to try and strengthen it.
“That was the advice we took from the medical people but sadly it came out again yesterday in training. Now we’re going to get an operation for Cammy as soon as possible.
“He will be out for months rather than weeks. I’m loath to put a figure on it but I’d imagine it would be three months anyway.
“But I have confidence in Steve. When we re-signed him at the start of the season we were very pleased to have him because we felt he was a good stand-in who came in and did well in Cammy’s absence last year.
“It’s obviously a blow to Cammy himself and the team. But, at the same time, we are reasonably happy with our substitute keepers who can come in and do a good job.”
McCoist will hope to notch up another morale-boosting Scottish Championship victory over Alloa at Recreation Park today. The Rangers boss has had to cope with a series of negative stories over the past fortnight as the Ibrox off-field saga refuses to die down.
But, after last Friday’s 4-0 romp over Raith and the 1-0 League Cup win over Inverness on Tuesday – the Gers’ first victory over a top-flight side for two years – he is at last pleased to see his side generating some positive headlines.
“It’s been a pleasing week,” he declared.
“In the last three years or so, it’s been important not to get too downbeat when things are not going too well, and not to get too carried away when you do get a couple of good results. It’s about keeping a level head.
“So I’m not getting carried away now, but I’d certainly say the last couple of games have been extremely pleasing.
“We’ve beaten one of the in-form sides in the country in Inverness. Up until Saturday they hadn’t lost a goal, never mind a game.
“The obvious thing is that you hope the lads continue to get great confidence from that game, in particular, as well as the Raith game on the Friday. That was perhaps even more pleasing with the way we played.”