Kemar Roofe makes big Rangers step as Michael Beale makes medical staff revelation
Injuries have blighted the 30-year-old’s progress but Michael Beale has not given up on him yet. Both Roofe and Tom Lawrence, another long-term casualty, should return to full fitness during pre-season at which point the manager will assess whether Roofe, in particular, could yet remain part of his plans.
Beale said: “Having Kemar fit and available would certainly be a bonus. We decided for him to go and have the hip operation that has been troubling him for a long period of time to see if that solves the issues he has been having. He is back out running now so will start pre-season with the team. Him and Tom, I’ve not really been able to use either of them. I have not even seen Tom in training and he’ll be probably three or four weeks behind Kemar.
“He [Roofe] was our top goal scorer in the year we won the league but it is important that he shows when he comes back that he can be the player we know. I was here when we signed him and he is a heck of a player. He has missed out on a lot of international games and big games for Rangers as well. Kemar is a really strong-willed guy, a really tough exterior, but you have got to make sure that he is in a good place. I think being out on the pitch and being pain-free is a big step for him so let’s see how pre-season goes.”
Rangers’ treatment room has often resembled a scene from Casualty at times this season with Connor Goldson, Steven Davis, Rabbi Matondo, and Ridvan Yilmaz also all sidelined for months at a time. Beale admits a change in medical personnel probably hasn’t helped. He added: “I would say that there has not been enough stability around the players. When I came in in November I was the third manager in just over a year. And in that time we have had a change of doctor and a change in lead physio as well. There have been 15 or 16 staff that are working with the players on and off the pitch, different ways of training.
“So I think all of that needs to stabilise. Physios get to know your body and everyone is treated differently, it’s not one-size-fits-all. It’s very bespoke. When you have a lot of change around players at a club it’s not rocket science to say you’re going to have some injuries. In terms of soft-tissue injuries, we are always looking at that closely and that’s an area where there has been a lot of change around the players. This summer everyone will get a decent break and the international players will get another two or three weeks after that. We are hoping that pre-season will help clear that up.”