Rangers striker Martyn Waghorn out of Celtic semi-final

Rangers will have to take on Celtic without top-scorer Martyn Waghorn after boss Mark Warburton confirmed the injured striker had lost his race for fitness.

The leading striker will not recover from injury in time. Picture: SNS

The Ibrox men take on their Old Firm rivals in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final a week on Sunday.

But 28-goal striker Waghorn will be forced to watch the action from the Hampden stands.

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The former Sunderland, Leicester and Wigan poacher injured his knee on the plastic Rugby Park pitch during February’s quarter-final replay win over Kilmarnock.

He has not featured since that match but claimed last month he was hopeful of returning in time to take on Ronny Deila’s side.

However, Warburton delivered the bad news to the Ibrox faithful while speaking at the press conference promoting this Sunday’s Petrofac Training Cup final with Peterhead.

The Englishman said: “Martyn won’t be in the Old Firm game. The guy’s been out for six weeks. He has to get fit. You can’t just come back in to a game of that level.

“But if we get through that then I think hopefully he’ll figure in the final.”

Gers have managed to wrap up promotion back to the Ladbrokes Premiership without their chief marksman but skipper Lee Wallace admits his absence is a blow.

“Waggy’s quality is there for everybody to see,” said the Ibrox captain. “He’s our top scorer and I think he’s still top of the Championship scoring charts and that speaks volumes for him.

“He was going through a difficult period down the road but has come up here, played regularly and shown a first-class attitude.

“The manager wants players to come into this club and add value on and off the pitch and he’s someone who ticks all those boxes.

“He’s getting closer to fitness and is working hard every day but while he’ll be a miss next week, it’s a chance for somebody else to step in, like they have done since Waggy’s been injured.”

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