Injury Worries Starting To Ease For Rangers
Rangers manager Graeme Murty has confirmed that Bruno Alves returned to training yesterday and he's expecting better news soon on the injury front in general.
The experienced Portuguese international hasn't featured for the club since being substituted at Parkhead at the turn of the year, but he has now recovered enough from his calf tear to rejoin training and start building himself up again.
With Kenny Miller returning for Partick, Murty knew that Ross McCrorie and Lee Wallace were also nearing returns.
Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media this week, he explained.
'We are looking good. Declan is still being checked by our medical staff, while Sean Goss had a Neuropraxic injury, so he damaged a nerve in his face. He got a boot to the face, but has come back okay. Bruno Alves joined in training today, and Kenny Miller is obviously doing full days training. Ross McCrorie is progressing on after an injection, so we are hopeful he will start running soon. Lee Wallace is also progressing on, so we are looking to have more people back giving me a headache in terms of squad selection and people who are ready to go and play. We just need to make sure we pick the right team, as people are definitely training well and bringing good energy to the training, which is really important in my eyes.'
With the Development Squad set to return today from a two week training camp in Spain, Murty admitted he'd been keeping a close eye on the progress being made by players at that level and he's been impressed with what he's seen.
'The Games Programme has been designed for a specific purpose, that being to stretch and test our young players. We will take a little bit of stick as we have done so well in the Games Programme, and played some really big teams but then don`t beat St Johnstone in the Youth Cup. We understand that, and we understand that on any day, things might not work and might not happen for us. But, if we see the growth in our young players, and the way they are being tested, and the way they haven`t been able to dominate the ball as they would in Scotland and the way they have had to find a way to cope with different structures and different shapes, it`s been great for their development.'
He went on to say.
'It is an ongoing process, and I think it is a really important step they are taking and also the opportunity to go to Spain for a couple of weeks has allowed Glenn Middleton to go out there and see what we are about, and allowed other people to come to the fore and actually cope with being a professional athlete. They are going to have to be able to travel to Europe to play for this football club as we will be in Europe. You have to be able to go to Europe midweek, go big distances, and then come back and play here on a Saturday. That is what this is built for. This is built to prepare them. They won`t be ready yet, we know that, but this is to give them an inkling of what life might be like if they are fortunate and hungry enough to go and crack-on from here.'
Murty obviously played his part in the creation of the Games Programme whilst Head Coach of the Development Squad so he has a natural interest in seeing how his former charges are getting on.
'I am the most interested observer, and the guys know that we have an overview, as all managers should in my opinion. I watch the games and I talk to the players regularly, but that can`t distract from the full-time job I have. I am mindful of the challenge they have, and some of the young players have found it hard, and they still need to know that we are right behind them. Even though I`m not in there with them, every now and again, one of them will pop up to talk about an aspect of a game and the way they are feeling, which is fine and I would encourage with any player.'
'I do it with the first team and I do it with the under-20s, and when the 17s are out I will go and watch them as well as I think it is right that I have an overview of all of the age groups to see we are on the right path. From what I can see from first-team down, we are moving in the right direction.'