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Macleod savours return to fitness after health scare

By Gavin McCafferty

Rangers midfielder Lewis Macleod is more determined than ever to make the most of his chance at Ibrox after being told his career had come under threat. The 20-year-old saw his season ended in January by a virus that damaged his heart muscles.

He was given the all-clear towards the summer, but at the same time the doctor told him that an alternative diagnosis might have ended his playing days.

The skilful midfielder has since returned to fitness and scored the first goal as Rangers won 2-0 at Falkirk in the Scottish Championship on Friday.

Macleod said: "It's just been brilliant to get back playing. It was a scare to hear the things that could have happened.

"I didn't take a lot of time to think about it when it first came about. It was only after my results when the doc said he felt I might not have been able to play again. That's when I took a step back and thought about it.

"The doc didn't want be to know much about it until he had the results back. When the results were good, that's when he told me how bad it could have been."

Macleod wants to put a difficult spell behind him and will never take his spell in the first team for granted.

"For a large part of last season I wasn't doing as well as I could have because of the way I was feeling," he said. "I couldn't add up why I was playing that way.

"It's been a rollercoaster and I'm glad to be back playing. I saw what it would have been like not to be where I am. I had three or four months of doing nothing.

"Now I appreciate every minute and want to grab this opportunity with both hands."

Macleod comes up against a boyhood hero tonight when former Rangers captain Barry Ferguson brings his Clyde team to Ibrox in the second round of the Petrofac Training Cup.

"As a young boy coming to watch Rangers, he was always one that stood out," Macleod said.

"It will be good to see him back at Ibrox. He was a brilliant player on the pitch and hopefully he can do the same off it.

"I always looked up to him and tried to model myself on him when I was younger."Lewis Macleod

Rangers striker Kenny Miller is a doubt for the game after going off against Falkirk on Friday with a tight hamstring.

Midfielder Ian Black and full-back Richard Foster could miss out again with calf injuries.

Irish striker Jon Daly (knee) and midfielder Arnold Peralta (groin) remain on the sidelines.

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