Rangers may lose Beasley for season

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The Independent Football

Rangers' American winger, DaMarcus Beasley, will miss "several months" of action and maybe the whole of his debut season in the Scottish Premier League because of the knee ligament damage sustained in the midweek defeat at Stuttgart in the Champions League, the club's manager, Walter Smith, confirmed yesterday.

The 25-year-old will undergo surgery in America, probably next week, ruling him out of Rangers' last and critical European group match, with Lyons later this month.

"It will certainly be months before he's back," said Smith as he prepared for today's game at Ibrox with Kilmarnock. "He was settling in and he was starting to do well. He has a bit of pace in the wider areas on the pitch so we will miss him."

While Smith's injury concerns grow, they pale in comparison with those at Gordon Strachan's Celtic, who face a potentially tricky lunchtime trip to Hearts today. John Kennedy's nightmare with injuries is continuing after the centre-half was carried off during Wednesday's Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk with damage to the same knee that kept him out for the best part of three years.

The left-back, Lee Naylor, was also carried off with a calf problem that will keep him out for three weeks, while the club's three right-backs are all injured. Strachan insisted yesterday, however, that his January transfer targets remain the same.

"There are no recognised full-backs [fit to play] but we just need to get on with it," he said.

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