Rangers: Steven Gerrard reveals key man faces two weeks on sidelines as he speaks on Nathan Patterson

Rangers captain James Tavernier will be sidelined for two weeks after undergoing surgery on his appendix this week.
James Tavernier (far lefT) faces up to two weeks on the sidelinesJames Tavernier (far lefT) faces up to two weeks on the sidelines
James Tavernier (far lefT) faces up to two weeks on the sidelines

The right-back, who has played 35 times so far this term, will sit out tonight's Scottish Cup match with Stranraer at Ibrox but could also miss the Scottish Premiership matches against St Mirren, Hearts and Ross County.

Light Blues boss Steven Gerrard said: "He’ll probably be missing a couple of weeks, all things being well.

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"He’s had a minor procedure around his appendix which was sorted out yesterday.

“These situations can be worse, it can be up to six weeks or a couple of months if there are complications or the appendix bursts," Gerrard added.

"But we’ve managed to address the situation really early. It’s more like a couple of weeks instead of a couple of months."

The Gers boss revealed that the former Newcastle and Wigan full-back had started feeling a pain in his abdomen after the squad had flown back from a winter training camp in Dubai. Gerrard is sure his side can cope with the absence of the 28-year-old but admits the situation "isn't ideal".

"He's been there every session, every game. Hopefully it's only going to be a couple of weeks and it's not a major problem," he added.

Jon Flanagan is likely to deputise for Tavernier, and the Gerrard was effusive in his praise for the former Liverpool man.

“Jon’s in the best shape I’ve seen him this season in terms of how he’s looking. He came over to Dubai absolutely flying. He trained right through the winter camp and he’s obviously trying to earn a contract here. So I’ve got no doubts that Jon will be waiting in the wings and desperate to play."

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Flanagan's contract is up in the summer and the 27-year-old will hope to use this extended run to seal a new deal - but he isn't without competition for the right-back berth.

Gerrard continued: "I know Jon’s ready. I had a chat with him yesterday and I can see it in his eyes that he’s ready. But we’ve got some other options that can play there as well. We’ve got Matt Polster who can do a job, quite an attacking full-back and we’ve seen him do it many a time in the MLS.

"Nathan Patterson’s obviously around it now in terms of the fringe of things, [but] he is one for the future. I wouldn’t say he is 100 per cent ready for the first team just yet but I gave him a taste of it in our friendly in Dubai last weekend and he did himself no harm.

“Talent and ability wise, I like what I see. If Nathan keeps progressing and developing the areas around that talent, then I predict a bright future for him.”