Rangers’ injury travails have burst in the worst possible time following five team stars were laid out for the trip of giants Leverkusen before this weekend’s Old Firm tussle in midweek.

Filip Helander, Jermain Defoe, James Tavernier, Ryan Jack, and Scott Arfield are massive doubts for another seven days’ astronomically large games, featuring home and away against Bayer, along with the visit of Celtic, and Rangers’ form has been such that the reduction of these players is far from perfect.

Helander continues to recuperate from his long-term harm, and while back in training he isn’t quite ready yet for first-team football.

Defoe also is back, but he is likewise not really fit enough to be considered a serious alternative.

Tavernier picked up a knock against Hamilton and allegedly suffered another setback in training, so he is highly doubtful.

Jack got a poor one v Hearts and while strangely in the dugout v Hamilton, was not able to do similarly v County.

While Arfield picked up a pull at the same game, and even though a scan demonstrated it was less severe than feared, he’s a major doubt for the three games in question.

As the American had a good outing in Dingwall an injury scare over Matt Polster is something of the past, and Rangers’ squad is healthy, so far as we know.

Which means choices for the week are somewhat limited.

The league is gone, and we can understand that, but the UEL, strangely, stays Rangers best (only) chance of success this year and few would bet against the side doing remarkable things during the next seven days awarded the’underdog’ standing they acknowledge that they now thrive on.

Let’s hope most of these five are accessible as possible in the match against Leverkusen.