The former Brighton and Hove Albion defender could be selected this weekend, but his Nigerian teammate will not
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has offered some positive news ahead of their Scottish Premiership clash with Hamilton Academical on Saturday, stating Leon Balogun is available for selection, but on the negative side, Joe Aribo will miss the tie.
The Nigerian defender is a summer signing at Ibrox having arrived on a free transfer from Wigan Athletic and settled in immediately, playing the Gers’ first three league games of the season, against Aberdeen, St. Mirren and St. Johnstone, all ending in victories and clean sheets kept.
The 32-year-old defender was seen training with his teammates on Thursday and went on social media to post a picture.
“Back on the pitch with the lads and went straight back to winning ways,” he captioned on Twitter.
— Leon Balogun (@LeonBalogun) August 27, 2020
Balogun also trained on Friday and Gerrard said in his pre-match press conference that his fitness status will be assessed before the game.
“Leon Balogun is back and trained fully yesterday, and will train again fully this morning. We’ll assess his situation before we make a decision in terms of the squad,” Gerrard confirmed.
Aribo, like Balogun, has played in Rangers’ first three games of the season, scoring in the 3-0 victory over St. Johnstone, but missed the following matches with an ankle injury.
“Jermain Defoe and Joe Aribo won’t make the Hamilton game. Both should be ready for the game after,” Gerrard said.
“Allan McGregor has had no reaction and has trained fully all week.
“So, two bits of positive news, but unfortunately Jermain and Joe won’t make it for the weekend.”
Rangers lead the Premiership log unbeaten after five games (four wins one draw) with 13 points, the same as Hibernian in second place but with a superior goal difference.
They will be hoping to wrestle the title from the grip of fierce Glasgow rivals Celtic, who have lifted the trophy for each of the past nine seasons.
Rangers last tasted league glory during the 2010-2011 campaign.