Steven Gerrard reveals Rangers blow as two stars suffer injury setbacks

Ibrox boss challenges attacking players to fill void left by Joe Aribo

Joe Aribo scored in the 3-0 win over St Johnstone, his last appearance for Rangers. Picture: Stuart Wallace - Shutterstock / Pool via SNS Group

Steven Gerrard has challenged the rest of his Rangers flair players to provide a creative spark during Joe Aribo's injury lay-off.

The Ibrox boss has suffered a major blow after revealing the Nigeria playmaker has been ruled out for up to six weeks.

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The midfielder started the season in sparkling form but has not featured since last month's win over St Johnstone because of an ankle knock.

He was initially expected to sit out just a week of action but having already missed most of the last month, Aribo is set for an even lengthier absence after being assessed by a specialist.

Gerrard, however, is just grateful the 24-year-old does not need surgery.

He said: "Joe's had a set-back. He's got a high ankle sprain and will be missing for four to six weeks.

"But we're really positive over that being four rather than six weeks. But we'll have to take it week by week.

"It's a big blow. During the early parts of the season Joe was in magnificent form.

"It's actually good news because when he had the set-back in training he had to go see a specialist and there was a chance he might have needed surgery.

"Thankfully he doesn't and we might be able to get him back in four weeks' time. So it's actually a positive situation as it could have been a lot worse.

"Joe will be missed as he's such a fantastic talent. He's a creator and scorer of goals for us so you will always miss that kind of player.

"But the responsibility and the pressure is on the squad as a whole.

"The responsibility is on all the forward players to create and score and find answers when opponents set us challenges.

"I don't think the pressure goes onto just one other individual."

There is further injury frustration that Allan McGregor needs a scan after jarring his knee in training this week but Borna Barisic should shake off the deadleg he picked up on Croatia duty and face Dundee United at Ibrox on Saturday.

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