Miller seeks specialist help for hamstring

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The Independent Online

The Rangers striker Kenny Miller will see a specialist in a bid to finally cure a hamstring problem so he can play a major role in the Scottish Premier League run-in. Miller has been playing with the injury for a number of weeks but the situation came to a head when he was unable to take part in Sunday's win at Falkirk.

He will travel to London next week to seek specialist help to resolve the problem but is expected to sit out tonight's trip to St Mirren and the visit of Motherwell on Saturday.

"His injury is an awkward one," said manager Walter Smith. "It's dogged him for a while and he has been able to play with it but he is getting to the stage now where it is becoming more and more painful. He is going to see a specialist in London next week.

"I'm hopeful now that they have diagnosed exactly what it is, the treatment won't be a long one. He will certainly miss our next two games but I'm hoping it won't be too long before he is back fit again." Smith had previously bemoaned having too many players in his squad. But, with Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor currently serving two-week suspensions and the casualty list growing by the game, Smith now finds himself having to make the most of the limited resources available to him.

"We've got a few injury problems but we still have enough players," said Smith. "We had a rather large squad and had been carrying that for most of the season. The time has come around now where that is going to be a useful thing for us."

The furore over Ferguson and McGregor may not have died down completely but Smith said he has no fears about the mood in the dressing room ahead of the meeting with St Mirren. "I don't think there is any problem in that respect," he said. "We have three games in six days and we will focus on that."

When asked if Rangers now need to demonstrate the bottle to overcome the three-point advantage that Celtic enjoy at the summit of the SPL and then push on and win the title, Smith replied: "It's going to take good performances. In recent weeks, ours have been mixed and that is something we have to adjust to more than anything else. We didn't play nearly as well at Falkirk as we have done in previous matches but Falkirk pass the ball around well. If you are talking about games being scrappy, I don't think we attempt for that to happen.

"We go out and try to play but we are getting to the stage of the season where there is something for everyone to play for. The relegation battle is as tight as it has been for a few seasons, and teams are fighting for the top six and Europe, as well as the championship. So we have a competitive league this year."

Saints may be battling for their SPL survival but have already inflicted one shock defeat on Rangers this season and Smith warned against a repeat.

He said: "On that day, we had by far the vast majority of the possession and didn't make any use of it so we can have no complaints about losing. We just have to make sure that doesn't happen this time."

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