FILIP HELANDER’s season was brought to a cruel ending when injury struck six months ago.

The Rangers defender picked up a foot problem during the Betfred Cup final against Celtic in December and never recovered before the season was curtailed early due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But after a spell training from home in lockdown the big Swedish defender is back working with his teammates and admits he is raring to go when the season kicks-off on August 1.

Speaking to Rangers TV, he said: “I have been looking forward to it and it has been nice to get going. Of course, when you’re not on the pitch you can’t help your team, so it has been tough every game day, but I am a professional football player and I just tried to do my best in every training session, even though I’m injured.

“I was back with the team just before the lockdown, so it has been a long time since I last played a game. But I have been in Sweden during the lockdown so I have had the possibility to train there and have some football there back at home.

“So it hasn’t been that difficult, but now I feel strong and ready to go. It feels fantastic.”

Before injury struck, Helander was beginning to find consistency in a Rangers backline that had continuously been put under the microscope.

And now with the hope of a full pre-season under his belt, the 27-year-old is aiming to cement his spot at the heart of Steven Gerrard’s defence.

He continued: “When I arrived, I hadn’t had a pre-season so I was a bit behind everyone else, then when I started to play, both October and November I think I played well and then I got injured.

“Hopefully I can get to an even higher level now.

“Of course, there is still a long way to go, but whenever it is going to be, there is no excuse to not be ready and we are all looking forward to it.”

Helander also discussed Rangers’ transfer business so far this summer, with the likes of Ianis Hagi, Calvin Bassey and Jon McLaughlin all penning deals.

He added: “It’s a great signal from the club. As a player, you always want your team to be as strong as possible and that is what we are looking for every day in training when there are new players coming in to make us a stronger team.”