Alfredo Morelos: Rangers striker out for ‘next couple of weeks’ and doubt for Europa League quarter-final

Alfredo Morelos: Rangers striker out for ‘next couple of weeks’ and doubt for Europa League quarter-final

Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos has scored 18 goals this seasonRangers will be without Alfredo Morelos for Sunday’s derby with Celtic and the striker is set to miss both legs of the Europa League quarter-final with Braga.

The 25-year-old was sent home from international duty with Colombia because of a thigh injury.

“Unfortunately, he won’t be with us on Sunday, we won’t have him back in the next couple of weeks that’s for sure,” said manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

Rangers visit Braga next Thursday and play the return leg a week later.

Rangers and Celtic will meet again at Hampden on 17 April in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup.

“I think a long-term injury, but we don’t know how long yet,” added Van Bronckhorst on the loss of Morelos, who has 18 goals this season. “Hopefully we can give more news after the weekend.”

He added that Kemar Roofe “is ready” as a possible replacement up front, while Aaron Ramsey is fit after missing Wales’ friendly with Czech Republic.

“We have a big squad,” said Van Bronckhorst. “We have Kemar, who has played more games in the last weeks. He has scored some important goals and had two great assists against Dundee.”

The champions trail Premiership leaders Celtic by three points, with Van Bronckhorst saying: “We need to win no matter what.

“It’s an Old Firm game and it’s a big opportunity for us to go on level points. That’s the objective we have.”

This will be Van Bronckhorst’s first home derby as manager after the Dutchman suffered a chastening 3-0 loss at Celtic Park in February.

“We didn’t play well, particularly the first half,” he reflected. “We had the space to play our normal possession game but didn’t have the patience and calmness.

“I think now the team is much more controlled, more confident with the ball, and that’s what we need on Sunday against a strong opponent. We have shown we are strong at home and I’m confident my team will perform well.

“In the remaining games anything can happen and I think it will go all the way until the end of the season.”

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