05 Mar Rangers’ Lee Wallace closing in on return
Lee Wallace will play in a bounce game this week as he closes in on his return to action for Rangers.
Ahead of the visit of Celtic in the Ladbrokes Premiership on Sunday, boss Graeme Murty has arranged the friendly to bolster fitness where appropriate, and the 30-year-old left-back will be involved.
Club captain Wallace has not featured since he came off against Partick Thistle in September and has been recovering from surgery for a double hernia.
“I have a game arranged at the training ground for those guys who haven’t had many match minutes recently, which is good for us,” Murty told Rangers TV.
“We will get a game in there and make sure they get through that okay.
“Yes, Lee Wallace will feature in the game this week and we will see about the weekend, we will see how he gets through it.
“I know what it is like to be out long term, you come back in and you are training really well but it is completely different in a match.
“Sometimes you run around and you feel as though you have lungs that are a quarter of the size that they used to be just because you are not used to the stimulus of a match day.
“Let’s not forget his heart rate. A player’s heart rate will be at 75% of their max for 90 minutes and it is really hard to replicate that no matter how hard you train, because we can’t get that stimulus into every single player.
“This is our way to try and introduce that to him and make sure he comes through it okay.
“We will judge after the game, we will make sure that he plays, we recover him properly and then we will see how he is.”
Murty confirmed that fellow left-back Declan John will return to training this week after recovering from a groin complaint which has seen midfielder Andy Halliday filling in for the past two games.
He said: “Declan John is really close, he is hopefully going to do a bit of ball work today (Monday) and we are hopeful for the weekend, but nothing is confirmed as yet.
“Yes, I am hopeful of having a fit left-back for Sunday.
“He was a miss, I thought, but the opportunity for Andy Halliday to come into the team, in a position that is not his own, is something he took with both hands in the two games he has played.
“I have been really impressed with his attitude and he hasn’t let anyone down at all.”