RANGERS have suffered another blow with the dramatic news Alfredo Morelos is OUT for the rest of the season.
The prolific striker has undergone surgery on the thigh injury he sustained while on international duty with Colombia last week.
Morelos was sent home early after the training ground setback and was forced to sit out the crucial 2-1 loss to Celtic at Ibrox on Sunday that saw Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side slips six points adrift with only six games to play.
The Glasgow rivals are poised to lock horns again in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden a week on Sunday while there will be a fourth Premiership meeting of the campaign still to play at Parkhead following the split.
The 25-year-old forward will also miss tomorrow night’s Europa League quarter-final first leg against Sporting Braga in Portugal and the return in Glasgow a week later.
ALL OVER…Alfredo Morelos is ruled out for the remainder of the campaign after surgery.
Morelos flew to London last week for a scan on the injury and it was later confirmed he would not kick another ball in the vital run-in to the campaign.
A club statement read: “Following an injury sustained whilst on international duty with Colombia, Alfredo Morelos has undergone surgery to his thigh.
“Our medical team are pleased with the outcome of the operation and his rehabilitation programme is underway.
“He will return to training with the first team squad during pre-season.
“We wish him well during his rehabilitation.”
Meanwhile, former Gers hitman Mark Hateley reckoned the club relied too heavily on Morelos and insisted they need to strengthen in the summer
MAIN MAN…Kemar Roofe may have to lead the Gers attack in the absence of Alfredo Morelos.
The one-time England international attacker, speaking to Sky Sports News, said: “At this stage of the season, you need everybody fit who is going to have an impact on winning stuff, goalscorers more than any.
“Alfredo is that, he scores goals at every level and a figure like him missing is a big loss.
“Have we relied on him too much? Possibly so. Why have we relied on him too much? Probably because of a lack of investment from carrying on from the end of last season.”
Van Bronckhorst has Kemar Roofe to lead the line in the absence of Morelos while Swiss international Cedric Itten could be brought in.
Winger Fashion Sakala, who came on as a second-half sub against the Hoops as the faltering champions searched to a goal to give them a point, could also be utilised through the middle.