Coronavirus: Rangers confirm defender Filip Helander has tested positive

Filip Helander becomes Rangers' first confirmed case of coronavirus; the defender will be absent for their Europa League clash with Standard Liege and their Premiership game with Ross County; Steven Gerrard: "He'll be missing for 10 days and it's a blow for us"

Filip Helander has tested positive for coronavirus
Image: Filip Helander has tested positive for coronavirus

Rangers defender Filip Helander is self-isolating after becoming the first Ibrox player to test positive for coronavirus, the club have announced.

The Sweden centre-back was missing from Steven Gerrard's team for their Scottish League Cup game at Falkirk on Sunday.

The club announced on Twitter that the 27-year-old has become the club's first confirmed coronavirus case.

He will also have to sit out their Europa League clash with Standard Liege as well as next Sunday's Premiership trip to Ross County.

Helander will self-isolate and will definitely miss matches against Standard Liege and Ross County
Image: Helander will self-isolate and will definitely miss matches against Standard Liege and Ross County

A club statement said: "Rangers can confirm that Filip Helander has returned a positive test for Covid-19. He will self isolate in line with government guidelines.

"We wish Filip well and look forward to his return to our squad."

It comes as George Edmundson and Jordan Jones are also serving seven-match bans after breaching coronavirus guidelines by attending a house party earlier this month.

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Steven Gerrard embraces Scott Arfield after the player is substituted during Rangers' win at Falkirk
Image: Steven Gerrard embraces Scott Arfield after the player is substituted during Rangers' win at Falkirk

Speaking after Rangers' 4-0 Betfred Cup victory over Falkirk, manager Steven Gerrard said: "I haven't seen Filip with my own eyes since his positive test, but I will speak to him on the bus on the way home.

"I'll speak to him in the morning too to get a feeling of how he is, but he'll be missing for 10 days and it's a blow for us.

"With George Edmundson missing too it leaves us a bit light in the central areas. That's what Covid can do so you've got to try and guard against it.

"Hopefully we can get through with the bodies we've got. We've lost Nathan Patterson and we've lost two today, so I'm not sure that's luck."

Rangers' Bongani Zungu challenges Falkirk's Morgaro Gomis
Image: Rangers' Bongani Zungu challenges Falkirk's Morgaro Gomis

Ibrox youngster Nathan Patterson is currently self-isolating after being deemed a close contact following an outbreak among the Scotland Under-21 squad.

A Rangers spokesman has also confirmed to PA that an unnamed youth player has also returned a positive test.

The youngster - who is not part of Gerrard's first-team bubble - has subsequently undergone two NHS tests which have returned negative.

Club officials now believe Friday's original test result was a false positive. The Scottish Football Association has been kept "fully informed" of the situation.

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