Novo misses Old Firm clash
Walter Smith has confirmed that striker Nacho Novo will miss the weekends Old Firm match at Celtic Park.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 09/02/09 4:58pm
Rangers manager Walter Smith has confirmed that striker Nacho Novo will miss this weekend's Old Firm match at Celtic Park on Sunday.
The Spaniard picked up an ankle injury in the 2-0 win over Dundee United on 31st January and is yet to recover.
Smith had hoped the 29-year-old would be fit in time for the clash with their bitter rivals but those hopes were dashed with the news that the forward faces another few weeks on the sidelines.
Novo has scored three goals in his last six Old Firm games and his boss admits Rangers will miss the threat he poses.
"Nacho will miss the Celtic game, unfortunately his ankle will keep him out of that one," Smith said.
"We are disappointed to lose him because he is one of those players who has been starting in the team and playing well recently.
"Even as a substitute, Nacho is the type to come on and make a great impact so we'll miss him in this game and the next few we have coming up."
Better news for Smith is that fellow striker Kenny Miller is expected to be fit for the trip to face one of his former clubs.
The 29-year-old has withdrawn from George Burley's Scotland get-together this week with a hamstring injury but this is thought to have been just a precaution.
"It is a different situation altogether with Kenny and he will be okay for the match at the weekend," Smith added.
"He's getting a bit of discomfort at the top of his hamstring but the problem isn't actually in the muscle itself. He will be fine."