Rangers' Mohamed Diomande lifts lid on breaking thumb against Celtic - 'I don’t play basketball'

Midfielder glad to be back after injury ruled him out of important matches

Mohamed Diomande is raring to go again for Rangers and land silverware after his season was derailed by breaking his thumb.

The 22-year-old Ivorian midfielder, who joined in January from Nordsjaelland, has impressed since moving to Ibrox and has become a mainstay in the Rangers starting XI. That was until earlier this month, though, when he unwittingly broke his thumb in the 3-3 draw against Celtic. He required an operation and missed two matches – the 3-2 defeat by Ross County and the 0-0 draw with Dundee. However, he was back for last weekend’s 2-0 Scottish Cup win over Hearts, sporting a cast over his hand to protect his thumb.

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“I feel a little bit of pain but it’s OK,” said Diomande. “I broke it during the Old Firm game. How did it happen? Well that’s the question! I don’t really remember how it happened! When it happened I thought I could play on. During the second half I started to play but I was felling a lot of pain.

Rangers' Mohamed Diomande required surgery after breaking his thumb.Rangers' Mohamed Diomande required surgery after breaking his thumb.
Rangers' Mohamed Diomande required surgery after breaking his thumb.

“It’s very frustrating to miss games because I don’t play basketball! I play with my feet. But I had to say I could not really move. It was frustrating not to be in the team to help the other boys.

“I tried to play [against County and Dundee]. We tried to find a way that would allow me to be involved but I had a scan which showed I’d broke my thumb and I needed to have the surgery. But it’s back in place now and I’m back playing now.”

When Diomande signed, he said one of the factors was the opportunity to win trophies. Rangers are three points behind Celtic in Premiership title race with five games to go and will take on the Old Firm adversaries in the Scottish Cup final on May 25. Diomande is desperate to have winners’ medals around his neck come the end of next month.

“Yeah, that would be perfect for me,” he continued. “That was one of the reasons I joined this team. I’ll do what I can to help the team, to make myself better and to make my team-mates better. I’m going to do that by working hard in training and by being there in the starting XI, giving my best for the team.

“The next game is against St Mirren and we need to get another win. But the performance against Hearts, that’s our level. We know when we play like that, nobody can compete against us. We’re just going to try to maintain the level that everybody expects us to be at. We also have big expectation levels for ourselves. We’ll do everything to make sure we don’t drop those levels.”

Diomande’s return to the team gave it fresh energy and he added: “That’s why we have players on the bench. We depend on them also and know they can bring energy. Everybody in the team is working hard and we know what we need to do, whether you are starting or not starting. When players come in to the team, they always do an amazing job because they’re going to do what the other guys were doing, to push and work hard for the team. It’s all about the team. We believe in each other and we will continue pushing for each other.”



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