Bougherra won't be rushed
Rangers insist they will not take any chances regarding Madjid Bougherra's fitness.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 19/03/09 4:57pm
Rangers insist they will not take any chances regarding Madjid Bougherra's fitness ahead of the clash with Hearts on Saturday.
The defender picked up a calf injury in the 5-1 Scottish Cup success over Hamilton and missed the League Cup final defeat to Celtic last Sunday as a consequence.
Manager Walter Smith had expected the 26-year-old to be fit for the clash with the Jambos but the injury seems to have taken longer to heal than the club initially thought.
One thing Smith's assistant Ally McCoist has made clear is that with so many important games to come as the season reaches its climax the former Charlton ace will not be risked if he is not fully fit.
This could give the Rangers management duo a selection headache this weekend with fellow defender David Weir ruled out through suspension.
"Davie is obviously out suspended," assistant manager Ally McCoist told Rangers TV.
"Madjid Bougherra will continue getting treatment and working with the physios right up until Saturday.
"We will give him every opportunity to play. He is a big player for us. Madjid's injury has taken a bit longer to heal than we thought it would.
"It has surprised us a little bit. It was a big disappointment that he missed Sunday. He felt his calf a bit in the Hamilton game.
"We didn't think it was anything serious and took him off more as a precaution. Unfortunately it turned out a little bit worse than we expected.
"He was very keen to play at the weekend, but there was no point rushing him back when we have a massive run in and some big games coming up.
"If he is not right then he won't play, but we will give him every opportunity to do so."
But McCoist expects defender Kirk Broadfoot, who needed a pain killing injection to get through the game against Celtic, to be fit for Saturday.
"Kirk Broadfoot was sore, I spoke to him the day after the final on the phone," he added.
"I think that was his heart, his head and his foot, a bit of everything. And rightly so. He doesn't take it well and you wouldn't want him to take it well.
"If Kirk Broadfoot has a chance to play, he will play. That is the attitude you are looking for from Rangers players."