LEE Wallace will play in a bounce game this week as he nears his return from injury in Old Firm week.

Graeme Murty has arranged the friendly game to provide an important fitness boost to those in his squad who have missed out on game time of late and the club captain will feature.

Wallace hasn’t played since he was forced off against Partick Thistle in September, the 29-year-old has been recovering from surgery for a double hernia.

Speaking to RangersTV Murty said: “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. 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.”

The Gers boss is confident he will have a fit left-back for this weekend’s derby as he confirmed Declan John will return to training this week. Andy Halliday has been filling in for the injured full-back duo for the past two games.

Murty continued:

“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.

“I would really like to praise his professionalism since he has come back and he is someone that we brought back into the group to try and push and culture up, to try and make sure people understand what it means to represent Rangers at the highest level.

“He understands that and he wants the standards within the group to be at the highest and that is something he deserves credit for.”

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