Joey Barton will be made to train with Rangers’ youth teams after he was told to report back to the club’s training base.
The 34-year-old has not been seen at the Auchenhowie facility for almost two months following a blazing row with manager Mark Warburton in the wake of September’s 5-1 Old Firm drubbing by Celtic.
But Rangers have now confirmed Barton can return to work after announcing the conclusion of the midfielder’s disciplinary procedure.
He has been told he can return to Auchenhowie as soon as Thursday but the Press Association is reporting that the former Manchester City, Newcastle and QPR player will be limited to training with the club’s Under-20s squad and will not be permitted to rejoin Warburton’s group.
There remains next to no chance that he will play for Rangers again, with the lifting of his suspension aimed only at allowing him to work on his fitness ahead of an expected January departure.
Rangers said in a statement: “Joey Barton has been told he will return to full-time training following the conclusion of a disciplinary procedure.
“The Auchenhowie management team will inform the player of appropriate training arrangements to which he must adhere for as long as he remains a Rangers player. Neither the club nor the player will comment further.”
This fresh twist in what has become an embarrassing eight-week saga for Rangers comes six days after Barton met with the club’s hierarchy at Ibrox for a face-to-face hearing on his future.
The midfielder was joined by his representative Eddy Jennings for the two-hour meeting but left the stadium with the stalemate seemingly unresolved and his suspension still in place.
Rangers will hope a conclusion is now in sight.
The Glasgow giants will be keen to remove his costly £20,000-a-week wage bill from their books and believe that by allowing him to resume training it will speed up the process of finding a new club for the one-cap former England international once the January transfer window opens.
Burnley - the club Barton left in the summer when he signed a two-year deal with Rangers - have already been linked with a move for controversial midfielder.