Kris Boyd begins his recovery after hernia operation

RANGERS striker Kris Boyd has undergone a successful hernia operation. The 26-year-old was last night recovering from the surgery in Manchester before he returns to Scotland today.

According to the Ibrox club's website, he is expected to make a "quick and complete recovery" and could be back in action this time next month.

Boyd has been struggling with the injury for several weeks and was forced out of Sunday's 3-3 Active Nation Scottish Cup draw with Hamilton.

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He travelled south with club doctor Paul Jackson on Monday evening for a consultation with a groin specialist, and the decision was taken to operate after examinations revealed he was carrying a significant injury which required surgery.

Manager Walter Smith revealed earlier yesterday that he expects to be without the SPL's record goalscorer for up to six weeks – the standard recovery time for such operations. However, Rangers hope the striker – who has netted 19 goals so far this season – will be back sooner.

He will definitely miss this weekend's SPL clash at Hamilton and next week's Scottish Cup replay against Accies, as well as matches against Hearts, St Mirren and Falkirk. He is also set to sit out the Co-operative Insurance Cup semi-final with St Johnstone and the Scottish Cup tie against St Mirren should Rangers reach the fifth round. But Boyd could be back for games against Motherwell and Hibernian in February.

Despite Boyd's operation, Smith received a double boost ahead of the weekend with the news that Nacho Novo and Steven Davis should both be fit for the Hamilton game.

Novo has been out of action with a thigh knock sustained during the 1-1 draw with Celtic on 3 January but is making good progress ahead of Saturday's match at New Douglas Park.

Davis also looks likely to make the trip to Lanarkshire, having recovered from the dead leg which forced him out of the cup draw.

Smith said: "The thigh knock Steven took at the weekend was quite similar to Nacho's at the start of the month when we played Celtic.

"But while I would hope we will have Nacho back at the weekend, we should also have Steven in the team too.

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"He has always been a quick healer and hasn't been bothered too much by injury since he came here. We're still waiting for it to settle but I would be optimistic he'll be fine for Saturday. We'll wait and see."

Kenny Miller and Lee McCulloch are both suspended for this weekend's game, while Madjid Bougherra is on international duty with Algeria in the African Nations Cup. Steven Naismith and Pedro Mendes – who has been out since October with a knee problem – are also set to remain on the casualty list for a while yet.