STEVEN GERRARD hopes Rangers captain James Tavernier will be fit to lead his side to title glory this term as he continues his recovery from a knee injury.

The right-back was crocked during the Europa League win over Royal Antwerp a fortnight ago and faces the prospect of being unable to take to the field on the day that Rangers are crowned Premiership champions.

Gerrard is hopeful that Ryan Jack and Kemar Roofe will be fit to return sooner rather than later as Rangers go in search of the seven points they require from their matches with Livingston, St Mirren and Celtic this month.

Tavernier has been a hugely impressive and consistent performer throughout Gerrard's reign and faces a race against time if he is to captain Rangers over the winning line in the coming weeks.

Gerrard said: “James has been slower than we wanted. It’s difficult to put a date on his return. He hasn’t had a setback, it’s one of those injuries where you have to be patient with it.

“Jacko and Kem should be back with us some time next week. They are closer than James.

“If we get to the stage where we can win it, I hope everyone is on the pitch and available. But sometimes with injuries you just have to let them take their course - you can’t force them or push them.

“In an ideal world, he’ll have a positive week this week and get some good news - because if anyone deserves to be around when the team get over the line, it’s James Tavernier.”