The Swedish international will be absent ‘for at least a few months’ according to Rangers manager Steven Gerrard.
“Fil has had surgery in the last 24-48 hours to fix an issue when they went inside to have a look,” said Gerrard. “So he will be missing for the foreseeable future.
“I’ve not yet spoken to Fil post surgery. It happened in the last 24 hours and I’m told he is still probably trying to get himself together after the surgery, if you like.
“I will be speaking to him in the near future to check on his mental state and also to update on what the surgeon said to Fil from a one-to-one point of view.
“He is a big player for us, he has always been consistent and helped us since he came in the door.
“So he will be a miss and a loss but that’s the reason it’s always important to have four centre-backs – so you can cope when one is missing.
“In terms of how long he is going to be out for, it’s difficult to put a time frame on. But he will certainly be missing for at least a few months.”
Gerrard will welcome Connor Goldson back to his central defence for Rangers’ opening Europa League Group A match against Lyon at Ibrox on Thursday night after the big Englishman missed the league game in Perth while self-isolating.
Goldson is likely to partner Leon Balogun at the heart of Rangers’ back four. With Jack Simpson not registered in Gerrard’s European squad, Helander’s absence leaves him light on cover in central defence after Nikola Katic’s departure to Hajduk Split on a season-long loan.
Rangers have an option to recall Katic in January but Gerrard insists he would not try to advance that even if he could.
“Even if I had the opportunity to bring Niko back, I wouldn’t make that decision because it would be very selfish of me,” he said.
“Because Niko’s at a stage where he needs to play regularly to get back to his level. He is in the best place for that.
“I’m confident we’ve got the right amount of cover, assuming we don’t have any more issues.
“Connor Goldson comes back and is available for Thursday. We also have certain players who can fill in that position if needs be. So it’s disappointing not to have Fil available but we’ll manage.”
Gerrard, meanwhile, is waiting for news of Ianis Hagi’s return to Glasgow after the Romanian playmaker tested positive for Covid-19 while on international duty last week.
“There are conversations at the moment to try and get him back as soon as possible,” said Gerrard.
“After the news from the Scottish government over the last 24 hours about letting players in who have been in red-list countries, we are trying to get Ianis back as soon as possible.
“That’s out of my control so unfortunately I don’t have a day or time when he’ll be here. From my point of view, I need him back as quickly as possible.”