Joe Aribo has handed Rangers boss Steven Gerrard an injury boost by returning to training following a clattering incident with Livingston’s Ricki Lamie, but is not expected to feature until after the upcoming international break, according to the Daily Record.
Aribo has been a regular under Gerrard this season, starting 14 of his 16 outings across all competitions (TransferMarkt), but has not been seen since requiring 20 stitches to his head after a brutal blow in that League Cup quarter-final clash.
Aribo joined Rangers in the summer from English Championship side Charlton Athletic for £300,000 (Scotsman) and has been a hit under Gerrard, scoring four and assisting two across all competitions since his debut against St Joseph’s FC in the qualifying stages of the Europa League.
Nigeria boss Gernot Rohr handed the London-born midfielder his Super Eagles bow during the September internationals, but Aribo has not featured for Gerrard since the League Cup clash with Livingston last week.
The 22-year-old was forced off after half an hour in West Lothian, as a clattering incident with Lamie left Aribo bleeding heavily from the head and requiring 20 stitches.
His injury meant Gerrard could not call on the Addicks product against Aberdeen at the weekend and he is once again expected to be on the sidelines when the Gers meet BSC Young Boys in the Europa League tonight, while he could also miss Sunday’s Premiership encounter with Hamilton.
Aribo returned to training at Auchenhowie on Wednesday, though, and was spotted wearing protective headgear in images shared by the Ibrox natives on Twitter, as he bids to be fit for Nigeria’s friendly against Brazil on October 13.
A safety-first approach from Gary McAllister pic.twitter.com/9ix9oCdTlh
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) October 2, 2019
Gerrard will undoubtedly be glad to see Aribo back in training so soon after the incident, as the Gers boss was irate at referee Don Robertson not sending Lamie off for the incident he considered serious foul play.
Rangers should be able to cope without the Charlton product against Young Boys and Hamilton, though, as the Gers thrashed Aberdeen 5-0 last time out to maintain their challenge to Celtic in the Premiership standings.
It will also be far better to play Aribo’s return carefully, as Rangers will not want to see the young midfielder suffer any long-term effects from his injury.
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