Rangers boss Steven Gerrard gets injury boost before Europa League clash

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard has received a Europa League injury boost after passing key trio Ryan Jack, Lassana Coulibaly and Scott Arfield fit to face Maribor.

The Ibrox side head to Slovenia today with a 3-1 first-leg lead as they look to secure a play-off slot.

And the chances of Gers completing the job have grown with the encouraging update Gerrard has received from the Light Blues’ medical team.

Jack has recovered from the concussion he received on his return to former club Aberdeen last week.

The midfielder was taken to hospital after being laid low by Stevie May’s crude barge, but the 26-year-old has now rejoined his team-mates - much to the delight of Gerrard, who has declared himself Jack’s number-one fan after admitting he was “jealous” of his composed display against Osijek in the previous round.

“Ryan is back in full training today so, assuming he gets through today and tomorrow, he will be available for selection,” Gerrard told RangersTV.

“It could be a huge boost because I think he is in great form and I think he has played a very important role for us so far.

“I think when you are going away from home and you have a slight advantage you want to put people in your team that are going to help you get a positive result and Ryan comes into that bracket.”

There was fresh concern on Sunday when Coulibaly went down clutching his thigh near the end of Rangers’ 2-0 win over St Mirren.

But Gerrard says the combative midfield loanee from French side Angers is showing no lasting damage.

He said: “Lassana has recovered quite well and we don’t think it is a big issue, we think it is more down to maybe fatigue.

“He has posted some very big numbers in the last couple of games, in terms of distances and high speed, so I think it is just is body letting him know that he might need a little bit of a break at some point.

“It is a big game Thursday and we will have to wait and see what he is like in the next 48 hours before we make a decision on him.”

Arfield is also set to return to the Ibrox line-up after the 29-year-old sat out the weekend battle with the Buddies.

“Scott was just rested at the weekend,” added Gerrard.

“He had two or three weeks out with his knee and then he came back and played two full games, one of them was with 10 men against Aberdeen.

“We had to protect him at the weekend so the idea was just to rest him.

“He had a little bit of a small issue but nothing major. Thankfully we got a win and actually rested him which is good.”

And Rangers have called a general meeting of shareholders to approve a new share issue.

Chairman Dave King and the board have been expected to address the issue of shares for a number of months and have now called a meeting at the end of August.

At the meeting an additional 63,147,137 shares are to be issued to existing shareholders.