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Bougherra's Rangers return is put back

Rangers manager Walter Smith admits Madjid Bougherra is a major doubt for Saturday's clash against Kilmarnock after Algeria were forced into a World Cup play-off.

The defender faces a qualification decider against arch-rivals Egypt in Sudan tonight after his country lost 2-0 in Cairo on Saturday. Emad Moteab headed Egypt's crucial second goal five minutes into injury-time to leave both countries with identical records at the top of Group C in the African qualifying tournament.

Bougherra played the full 90 minutes on his first appearance since an international against Rwanda on October 11.

The 27-year-old has not played for Rangers since the 4-1 defeat by Sevilla on September 29.

He missed the 2-1 victory over Celtic and had to sit out another win at St Johnstone when he returned late from international duty after his passport was stolen.

Bougherra then suffered a knee injury in training and missed his club's subsequent five matches.

The former Charlton defender is now not due back to Murray Park until Friday.

“It's one of those things we could have been doing without, and I dare say Madjid could be doing without it as well,” Smith said of the play-off.

“I haven't heard yet how he has got through the game or if his injury has caused him any problems. We'll obviously have to see how he is, considering the fact he'll have been away nearly a fortnight. He has not played for two or three weeks prior to that. So, having two games in such a short space of time, having not played much, it might be asking a bit much of him to be involved in Saturday's game.”

However, the Rangers manager is confident 17-year-old Danny Wilson will continue to prove an able deputy after impressing in his first three senior appearances.

“He has done very well indeed,” Smith said. “When a young player does get an opportunity, they are bound to to grab it.”

Belfast Telegraph


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