JAMES TAVERNIER will be “missing for a couple of weeks” after suffering an appendix issue earlier this week.
The Ibrox captain will sit out tomorrow’s Scottish Cup clash with Stranraer as well as the next few matches – though boss Gerrard is pleased the issue was caught at a very early stage.
He also gave an update on other injured players, including new knocks for Glenn Middleton and Greg Stewart.
The manager told today’s press conference: “We had a problem yesterday with Tav and I know there are some rumours circulating that he is going to be missing for six weeks or a couple of months.
“They aren’t true – he will probably be missing for a couple of weeks all being well. He has had a little, minor procedure around his appendix which we sorted out yesterday.
“The small procedure went really well so he will be missing for a couple of weeks.
“Fil Helander is progressing but is still in the boot and still in crutches so that will be a slow one.
“Glenn Middleton has an issue with his foot that happened in a reserve game here a few days ago against Motherwell – he has had a scan, so we are just waiting for confirmation on the length of that injury, but he will be missing in the short-term as well.
“Greg Stewart came off training yesterday with a tight calf, and he is having a scan as we speak.
“I think these [appendix] situations can be worse and can be six weeks to a couple of months if there are complications – but that wasn’t the case.
“We have managed to get to the situation really early and at a really early stage, so I think when that happens and the right person gets in and sorts it out, it’s looking more like a couple of weeks than a couple of months which is good news, but nobody wants to lose their captain for one game never mind a couple.
“He was totally fine in Dubai, flew back, had a day off and then the morning we were about to come in, he was getting a bit of abdominal pain.
“He wasn’t sure what it was and called the doctor, and thankfully we have one of the best doctors in the business [Dr Mark Waller] who sent him to a specialist straight away and we got to the problem pretty early.”
Asked if an injury to Middleton could prevent any possible loan move for him, the manager added: “Possibly, as there were a few things bubbling away with Glenn, so that may or may not put those people off whom we were in contact with.
“But, we don’t predict he will be missing for too long, so maybe not.”
The manager also discussed the potential for loan moves for Greg Docherty and Jamie Murphy with the media this morning.
He said: “There is a real serious club in for Docherty, and negotiations are ongoing. It’s getting closer and closer and I predict something could happen in the coming days.
“With Jamie, it’s a similar situation, but maybe not as close as Docherty’s. But I predict that they will go out, hopefully in a couple of days for their sake so they can get playing football as quickly as possible.
“But, these negotiations sometimes take longer than I would like them to take, but in an ideal scenario, I want to see them playing competitive football in the coming days rather than weeks.
“[Greg] had a real, strong loan at Shrewsbury and I think Shrewsbury did ever-so well with him.
“He went down there and got in the ‘Team of the Year’ – so he has had a lot of attention around that league.
“We have also had some Championship interest as well, but this is a player we respect very much because of the way he has gone about it.
“He has given it his maximum effort to try and push the lads that are in the starting XI, and the lads that are in the squad to try and get a place, but unfortunately, it hasn’t happened.
“So the best thing for him at this stage of his career is to go and play, certainly from now to the end of the season, then we will analyse it again in pre-season.”
And, in terms of players moving inwards to Rangers, Gerrard explained: “I’ve always said it will be a quiet month in terms of incomings, and nothing has changed on that.
“Unless something big happened to one of the players, I don’t predict anyone to come in.”