NIKO KRANJCAR has suffered a freak training ground accident and is OUT of Rangers’ Betfred League Cup semi-final confrontation against Celtic at Hampden on Sunday.
The crocked Croatian international had to be carried off the training ground on Tuesday after he collapsed in agony.
The 32-year-old midfielder, who arrived at Ibrox in the summer, was given treatment on the spot before being helped to the sidelines for futher checks.
There is a fear Kranjcar, who was being lined up for a key role against Brendan Rodgers’ side, has severe ligaments problems.
Mark Warburton now faces the threat of the player being ruled out for a lengthy spell – possibly the ENTIRE season.
If the smooth operator has damaged his cruciate he is likely to be sidelined for six months, at least.
Kranjcar must now wait for the swelling to go down before he can be properly assessed.
The injury to the former Spurs, Queens Park Rangers and New York Cosmos star will be a real setback for the Ibrox side.
After a slow start to his career in Glasgow, the 81-times capped Croat was picking up some form as his fitness was enhanced.
That was underlined with a good display in the club’s 1-0 win over Caley Thistle in Inverness a week ago.
Now, though, it will be back to the drawing board for Warburton, who, of course, will also be without star summer signing Joey Barton for the big game at the national stadium.