James Tavernier: Rangers captain to ‘miss next few’ matches, says Steven Gerrard

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Rangers captain James Tavernier “will miss the next few for sure”, says manager Steven Gerrard after the right-back came off against Royal Antwerp.

The Ibrox side lost top scorer Tavernier, 29, and forward Kemar Roofe, 28, to injury during Thursday’s 4-3 Europa League first-leg win in Belgium.

Leon Balogun, 32, took over at right-back and Gerrard has “no issues” with deploying the Nigeria defender there.

“He did that in this German days,” Gerrard said of the ex-Mainz player.

“He’s an experienced player, he knows the game, he knows how we play. He can certainly do a job there.”

Earlier this week, Gerrard said he felt “let down” by five players, including teenage right-back Nathan Patterson, who breached Covid-19 regulations.

Patterson, 19, is now self-isolating and Gerrard said the club might “look outside” for right-back options, depending on the extent of Tavernier’s injury.

“He’ll obviously miss the next few for sure,” the manager said before Sunday’s visit of Dundee United (15:00 GMT). “We might have to look for an emergency situation.

“We’ve also got Ryan Jack, whose done it previously. We want to keep Jacko where he is and we don’t want to put him back to using him as a right-back, same with Glen Kamara and Scott Arfield. We have got options in there; they’re not the ideal options in terms of the midfield lads.”

Meanwhile, Gerrard expects Roofe back in “maybe two or three weeks”.

Rangers, who are 15 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership, host Antwerp next Thursday in the return leg (18:00).