PEDRO CAIXINHA has confirmed Niko Kranjcar has returned to full training as he continues his recovery from a torn ACL.

The Croatian picked the serious injury up in a session at the club’s training ground back in October and his return to working alongside his teammates is ahead of schedule.

Kranjcar told RangersTV last month that he hoped to be back training by the start of May and Caixinha says his condition will be monitored as he effectively starts his pre-season now.

Speaking to RangersTV the Gers boss said:

“Niko Kranjcar came back to full training on Tuesday which is fantastic. That allows him to start his pre-season now and not when the rest of the squad do in a month or so time.

“It’s an advantage for him and for us, on Tuesday he took part in the training session with no limitations; he trained like all the other players.

“Because Tuesday was the first session back on Wednesday he will be back working with Steve Walker our physio then the day after he’ll be back training with the team, then off again and so on.

“That will continue until maybe next week when he will have two days with the team and then one day off, then two days again with the team.”

Meanwhile Clint Hill is in contention for this weekend’s Old Firm clash at Ibrox after missing nearly a month with a calf strain.

Caixinha also met Matt Crooks for the first time this week when the midfielder returned to Aunchenhowie after having his loan spell at Scunthorpe cut short by a knee injury.

The Portuguese explained:

“Clint also returned to full training on Tuesday, he had returned on Friday but he started with us this week full power.

“That means he’s in a different position for this weekend’s game and can be a real option. It is a possibility he will play on Saturday.

“Lee Wallace we expect to have back for maybe the last three or four matches.

“I met Matt Crooks on Tuesday and I just know that he needs 10 weeks at least to recover so we need to give him time to do that.

“The rest of the loan players will come back and start pre-season with us and then I can assess them closer to our group in work and training sessions.”

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