Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha faces a worrying wait after it emerged both of his left-backs are nursing injuries ahead of next Saturday’s showdown with Celtic.
Skipper Lee Wallace limped off just 12 minutes into Friday night’s draw with Partick Thistle after aggravating an old groin injury, and was replaced by new signing Declan John.
But now the on-loan Cardiff defender has revealed he is also carrying a knock and is not certain to start Tuesday night’s Betfred Cup quarter-final clash with the Jags.
If both players are unable to shake off their problems it could force Caixinha to put understudy right-back Lee Hodson up against Celtic ace Patrick Roberts when they welcome Brendan Rodgers’ rampant Hoops to Ibrox next weekend.
However, John insists that if he can prove his fitness, he will be able to handle the derby atmosphere.
Asked if he was ready to replace Wallace, the Wales international said: “Of course, I want to play as many minutes as I can. However, I have got a bit of a niggle as well so we will just have to wait and see.”
Rangers missed out on the chance to draw level with Celtic for a few hours as they were held to a 2-2 draw at the Energy Match Stadium.
That slip-up allowed Celtic to open up a five-point lead on their bitter rivals with Saturday’s 4-0 rout of Ross County, but John was pleased to have returned to action having found himself out in the cold at Cardiff.
“Seeing Lee go down early, I didn’t expect to get a call so early on,” said John, whose last first-team appearance for the Bluebirds was in April. “But I was really happy to get on and I thought I did quite well.
“When you are coming off the bench that early in the game, it is still a bit mad and there are things going on. So to get chucked in early, it is hard to get used to the pace first of all. I thought I got there in the end and did pretty well.
“It was disappointing we only got a point, though. In the last two games the boys had got wins but I think we showed that we can play. For me coming in, I like to play. I think we did quite well to get a second goal towards the end of the game and rescue a draw.
“We were pushing to get a winner at the end of the game. There were a lot of balls in the box as we tried to get a goal. We pushed in the last 10 minutes but couldn’t get it.”