The Ibrox captain returned to the starting XI for Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with St Johnstone for the first time since limping out of a Europa League clash with Royal Antwerp in mid-February.
In his place young Patterson has excelled at right-back, including a stand-out showing in last Sunday’s 2-0 Scottish Cup victory over rivals Celtic.
There have been calls for the 19-year-old to earn a place in Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad for this summer’s Euros, though those hopes may now be dented by an upheld six-game ban (two of which are suspended) handed down by the Scottish FA for breaking Covid-19 protocols along with four of his Rangers team-mates.
With a maximum of six games left this season for Steven Gerrard’s side, Patterson’s chances will be limited for the rest of this term, but fans are eager to see more of the defender next term.
Tavernier, who recently signed a new deal with Rangers, suggested a way for his manager to fit them both in the same team as he reflected on his return from injury.
He said: “It feels great to be back, it was frustrating I haven't been out that long since I was 18. It was a lot of hard work and patience.
“Nathan has been brilliant and has been working extremely hard. He has set his standard and now has to keep it up. The gaffer can include us both, I'm happy to play up-front!
“Nathan has to keep pushing me, himself and the team. He can go all the way.”