Jamie Murphy’s worst fears have been confirmed with the Rangers winger ruled out for the rest of the season with the knee injury he sustained on the artificial pitch at Rugby Park.
The 28-year-old Scotland international will be sidelined for up to a year after scan results revealed he has anterior cruciate ligament damage to his left knee. Murphy jarred the knee on the unpopular playing surface at Kilmarnock during Rangers’ 3-1 Betfred Cup win on Sunday.
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has lamented the long-term loss of one of his key players but has pledged to provide all the support needed to allow him to make a full recovery.
“We’re devastated for Jamie,” said Gerrard. “I’m bitterly disappointed because we lose a top player now for the rest of the season.
“Jamie’s coming to terms with it. He’s found it tough. He was upset at the beginning and understandably so.
“It is a tough one to take as a footballer. But we will give him every bit of help and support off the pitch that he needs. We will make sure that he sees the right specialists and gets the job done properly. Then as a team we will rally around him and make sure he is in good spirits. He is here at Rangers for the long term. He is a big player for us.
“What Jamie has to do now and what we have to help him do is make sure he does everything in his powers to come back strong and doesn’t have any setbacks. He has got an opportunity to work on his whole body and make sure he comes back really strong.
“He found consistency for me straight away this season. He was on a big buzz from signing long-term for the club. He knows the league, he knows the club, he is very well-liked in the dressing room. We have had a big cog, a big piece of the jigsaw, taken away from us. We are still coming to terms with it. I am not going to try and play it down. It is a big blow for us.”
Asked if Murphy’s injury would have happened on a natural grass pitch, Gerrard replied: “Probably not. I’m no expert in how injuries happen or what their cause is. But there is no getting away from it that a surface like Kilmarnock’s does not help injuries.
“As I said after the game, elite footballers who are getting paid good money, not just at Rangers but at every elite club, shouldn’t have to play on plastic surfaces – simple as that.”