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Rangers defender Helander ruled out ‘for the foreseeable future’

The Swedish defender has undergone surgery after suffering a knee injury.

Rangers defender Helander ruled out ‘for the foreseeable future’ SNS Group

Rangers centre-back Filip Helander has been sidelined “for the foreseeable future” after undergoing surgery.

The Swedish defender was substituted during the win over St Johnstone after injuring his knee and, after examination, an operation was scheduled.

Steven Gerrard confirmed that the player would be out of the first team plans for some time as he recovers.

The Rangers manager said: “He has had surgery in the last 24-48 hours to fix an issue that they spotted when they went inside to have a look so he will be missing for the foreseeable future.

“The rest is as it was so we are in good health besides Fil.”

Gerrard is able to welcome Connor Goldson back to the squad for Thursday’s match against Lyon after the defender’s self-isolation ended. Rangers are unable to draft any new senior players into their Europa League squad but the manager was confident that despite Helander’s absence he has players who can cover if needed.

Ianis Hagi is due to miss the match after testing positive for Covid-19 last week while on international duty in Romania but Gerrard revealed that he was hopeful the player may be cleared to return.

“We’re having conversations at the moment to try and get Ianis back as soon as possible,” Gerrard said. “After the news in the last 24 hours that the Scottish Government is allowing players in who have been in red list countries, we’re trying to get Ianis back.

“There’s conversations going on as we speak but it’s obviously out of my control. I don’t have a day or a time when he’ll be here but from my point of view I need him back as quickly as possible.”

The Europa League group stage opener against Lyon will be Gerrard’s 50th European match in charge. He said that the big occasions were games that he relished and looked forward to taking on more top class opposition.

“I hope the nights get more and more special but the only way to do that is to get results against these big teams,” he said.

“When the high level opponents come into Ibrox or when we travel we need to make sure we keep impressing ourselves and playing as well as we can.

“I have really enjoyed the ride from a personal point of view. I love being involved in European games. I did as a player and I’m loving the ride as a manager as well.”