Rangers captain and right-back James Tavernier is set to be sidelined for a fortnight after undergoing a minor procedure on his appendix on Wednesday. 

The defender, who has played in 35 games in the 2019/20 campaign, is set to miss the Ibrox club’s William Hill Scottish Cup match against Stranraer in Govan this evening. 

The 28-year-old may also have to sit out the Ladbrokes Premiership matches against St Mirren, Hearts and Ross County.

 “He’ll probably be missing a couple of weeks, all things being well,” said Rangers manager Steven Gerrard. “He’s had a minor procedure around his appendix which was sorted out yesterday. The small procedure went really well.

“These situations can be worse, it can be up to six weeks or a couple of months if there are complications or the appendix bursts. 
But contrary to rumours yesterday, that wasn’t the case. We’ve managed to address the situation really early. It’s more like a couple of weeks instead of a couple of months.

“James was totally fine in Dubai, flew back and had a day off. The morning we were about to come in, he started to feel a bit of abdominal pain and wasn’t sure what it was. He called the doctor and thankfully we’ve got one of the best doctors in the business. He sent him to a specialist straightaway and got to the problem early.

“I’m confident we can cope without James. It’s not ideal, as he’s been there every session, every game. Hopefully it’s only going to be a couple of weeks and it’s not a major problem. But we wish him a speedy recovery.”

Tavernier’s absence offers former Liverpool right-back Jon Flanagan, who is out of contract at the end of the season, the chance to get an extended run in the side and Gerrard is confident his old Anfield team-mate will impress if he gets the nod to replace his skipper. 

“Jon’s in the best shape I’ve seen him this season in terms of how he’s looking,” he said. “He came over to Dubai absolutely flying. He trained right through the winter camp and he’s obviously trying to earn a contract here. So I’ve got no doubts that Jon will be waiting in the wings and desperate to play.

“We’ve got a game now every three or four days, right through to the next international break. So there’s plenty of football there and I know Jon’s ready. I had a chat with him yesterday and I can see it in his eyes that he’s ready.

“But, we’ve got some other options that can play there as well. We’ve got Matt Polster who can do a job, quite an attacking full-back and we’ve seen him do it many a time in the MLS, Nathan Patterson’s obviously around it now in terms of the fringe of things.”

Asked about Patterson, Gerrard said: “He is one for the future. I wouldn’t say he is 100 per cent ready for the first team just yet.”