Rangers dealt fresh injury blow as Danilo faces possible surgery

Tom Lawrence and Danilo have both been ruled out of the next

Rangers manager Philippe Clement has revealed that Tom Lawrence and Danilo are to miss at least eight games through injury, with the attacking duo ruled out until the winter break.

Brazilian striker Danilo could be sidelined for even longer, with the forward possibly requiring knee surgery and a lengthy lay-off.

That means the pair will miss the crucial final Europa League group game against Real Betis, the Viaplay Cup final against Aberdeen and a number or vital Premiership matches including the showdown at Celtic Park on December 30.

Clement spoke about both players at his media conference ahead of the home match against Dundee.

“Tom will be out until the winter break and Danilo will for sure be out for that time,” he said. “So that’s not so good.

“Danilo has a problem with his knee because of a bad tackle in the game [against Hearts]. The chance is big that he requires surgery.”

After confirming that surgery would mean a “long-term” absence for Danilo, he expressed his regret about losing more players in what has been an injury hit spell.

The Belgian manager has previously said that he hasn’t encountered similar injury problems at previous clubs in his career, and mentioned his dissatisfaction with the fitness and conditioning of the squad he inherited from Michael Beale.

“I want to just give information on the injured players and start focusing on the fit players because I’ve been talking enough about injuries in the last couple of weeks,” he said.

“It’s a big blow for the players because they were really motivated and ready for the story and they were performing well.”

When asked if he would be looking to add a striker to the squad in the January transfer window, Clement replied: “Yes, that will be one of the priorities.”

Summer signing Cyriel Dessers is most likely to start in Danilo’s place, while Kemar Roofe, whose time at Rangers has been blighted by injury, will also come into the reckoning.

Clement said: “It is for them to show that they are ready like it is for every player.

“What we know that Kemar is coming back from an injury and a history of a lot of consecutive injuries so we need to take that into account.

“There is no use throwing him on the pitch and he is also out.”

The manager faces a busy spell now, with the match at home to Dundee followed by the trip to play Real Betis in Seville before returning to Glasgow for the League Cup final.

Reflecting on his time in charge up to this crucial period, Clement said that he saw real improvement but still plenty to be done.

 “I am happy in different ways.

“If I see where they were eight weeks ago, not too much a team on the pitch, from what I saw in moments in games and we could have more results than we have had.

“We are creating a lot of chances every game, good goals, several clean sheets in the league so the team is taking good steps and also, despite players being in and out, everybody understands what to do.

“It is a lot of work for the players to understand everything so I think the team is in a really good way to improve and become better.”

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