BBC man makes James Tavernier injury claim

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Rangers defender James Tavernier played through an injury against Celtic, former Gers player Alan Hutton has told Football Insider.

The truth

Tavernier came off at half-time as Rangers lost 4-0 to Ajax in their Champions League opener last time out.

According to the Scottish Daily Express, there are now ‘fears’ over his fitness ahead of their second game against Napoli on Wednesday night.

Tavernier could be seen with an ice pack wrapped around his right knee as he watched from the bench in the second half last week.

The last

Hutton, who often worked for BBC Radio 5 Live, says Tavernier carried a minor issue past the former company.

He hopes the Englishman will return against Napoli, expressing concern over the preparedness of Adam Devine or Leon King.

He said: “It’s obviously something he could handle. I heard before the Celtic game that he had a bit of a problem but when it starts to affect your performance I think that’s when you need to pull it off or the manager needs to pull it off and give him the rest he needs.

Let’s hope that leaving the other night and then having this little rest period will be very useful for him for the next match which will be Napoli. It’s a terrible big game for the likes of [Adam] Guess or Leon King to throw away.

The verdict

If Tavernier can’t get rid of the blow in time to face Napoli, it would be a blow to Rangers, who need to score points after their matchday one hammering.

The right-back is clearly a vital player for Van Bronckhorst’s side, having played every minute in the league and Champions League until his withdrawal from Amsterdam.

Across the whole squad, only Antonio Colak (seven) can better Tavernier’s six-goal tally so far in 2022/23.

Indeed, he is the team’s most prominent creator, averaging 2.8 key passes per 90 (0.5 more than his closest challenge, Ryan Kent).





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