Graeme Murty Hopeful Of David Bates’ Return For Scottish Cup Semi-Final
Rangers manager Graeme Murty is hopeful that defender David Bates will return from an ankle injury in time to face Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final next month. The Gers succumbed to a 3-2 Premiership defeat at the hands of Celtic this weekend despite holding a 2-1 advantage at one stage of the Old Firm derby.
Bates, 21, suffered the injury in the opening 15 minutes as he got injured in Tom Rogic’s follow through for Celtic’s leveller, and his departure hampered the Gers greatly as they were also without experienced centre-back Russell Martin through a back problem. Initially, things did not look rosy for the youngster who had to be stretchered off the field, but Murty has confirmed that he has suffered no broken bones.
He told Rangers TV: “David is going to have a scan on his ankle, he has not broken it. It is a freak injury, he steps to the ball and goes to try and make a block and the ball flicks off his shin which takes it out of Wes’ grasp and as Rogic has a shot he comes down on David’s ankle.It looked a nasty one at the time and David is obviously upset but we won’t know the extent of it until we have it scanned.”
The game was level at 2-2 during the first-half interval, and following the break, Rangers got a man’s advantage after defender Jozo Šimunović was sent off in the 57th minute. Despite this, the Ibrox outfit could not capitalise, and they were eventually made to pay by on-loan striker Odsonne Edouard, who bagged the winner in the 69th minute.
The victory sees Celtic hoping a nine-point gap over Rangers at the top of the standings, and they are now in pole position to win yet another Premiership title. Both teams still have plenty to play in the form of the Scottish Cup semi-final in mid-April, and Celtic will be determined to go all the way to celebrate a second domestic treble in as many seasons under Brendan Rodgers.