Midfielder has not played since picking up a calf injury against Dundee United on February 21 but was named in Steve Clarke's 26-man World Cup qualifying squad on Tuesday; Rangers boss confirms he has spoken to his Scotland counterpart about the player
Wednesday 17 March 2021 11:36, UK
Steven Gerrard has confirmed Ryan Jack will miss Rangers' Europa League last-16 second-leg tie against Slavia Prague, despite him being named in Scotland's World Cup qualifying squad on Tuesday.
Steve Clarke announced a 26-man Scotland squad for a hectic week-long schedule which begins with a Group F game at home to Austria on March 25 before facing Israel in Tel Aviv three days later.
They then conclude their March fixtures with a game against the Faroe Islands at Hampden Park on March 31, with all three games live on Sky Sports.
However, Jack has not played for Rangers since picking up a calf injury against Dundee United on February 21, with Gerrard not only confirming he will not be fit to face the Czech side but he had already spoken to his Scottish counterpart about the player.
"I had a chat with Steve Clarke and obviously that will remain private," Steven Gerrard said.
"We've been in touch over Ryan (Jack) and a few other players for some time now but I'm not going to divulge what gets said in the conversation. I don't think that's fair or respectful.
"Ryan won't be involved tomorrow night. We will make a decision on the weekend when we need to but he is ruled out for tomorrow's game."
The newly crowned Scottish champions host Slavia Prague at Ibrox on Thursday night looking to reach the Europa League quarter-finals, with the game finely poised at 1-1 following the first leg in the Czech Republic.
Despite Filip Helander's away goal giving Rangers the advantage, Gerrard believes the tie is hanging on a knife-edge as he seeks to avoid the same fate as Brendan Rodgers' Leicester, who Slavia dumped out in the previous round.
"The positive thing is we've set it up for Ibrox with the away goal and we've given ourselves a real good opportunity," he said. "We believe it's really set up for a good 50-50 tie.
"I don't think we need any warning. To come up against a team at this stage of the competition, you have got to have respect in both legs.
"We are under no illusions and we have got nothing but respect for this team, but we have got no fear as well.
"We are a team that are here because we deserve to be here, we are a good team and have got international players ourselves.
"If we find our level and our best, we believe it could be enough. We have watched the Leicester game, it was a fantastic result for them to go to Leicester and get a result.
"With the form they are in and the manager they have got, that is a big achievement, but this is a different game and Ibrox is different. We want to give this game everything we have got.
"This game is right up there at the top with the most important games that we have faced and played in.
"The opportunity to achieve the last eight, from where the club was when I came in, is a chance to achieve something that is monumental."
Gerrard also wished former Rangers boss Walter Smith well in his recovery from illness after it was confirmed the 73-year-old was in hospital following an operation.
Gerrard said: "I've already sent my best wishes to Walter's family. Everyone at the club wishes Walter well. He still plays a massive part at this club, he's an iconic figure.
"He's someone I've got a close relationship with. I was only on a zoom call with him days before he went into the hospital.
"So everyone is right behind Walter, wishing him well and hopefully he will be out of hospital before too long."
No further details have been released about Smith's condition.