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Walter Smith is treating Kenny Miller with kid gloves

Walter Smith admits he will have to be careful with Kenny Miller after the striker again suffered from shin splints during yesterday’s goalless friendly draw against Sydney.

Miller felt the problem had subsided after more than two weeks of pain but he was forced off after an hour of a match played in terrible conditions.

However, Smith allayed fears over Kyle Lafferty and Lee McCulloch, who both subsequently limped off as the game degenerated into a struggle against a waterlogged pitch.

Smith said: “Kenny came off with the same problem that has been bothering him and we just have to watch it doesn't become a chronic one.

“It's one of those things which is okay during the game but as soon as he stops it causes him a bit of pain. Hopefully we can get over the weekend's game because when we travel back he will then have a few days' recovery.

“Kyle had a little bit of cramp in his calf as you'd expect because he did a lot of running.

“He'll be okay and the same should apply to Lee and he just took a kick.”

Despite the conditions making it difficult to produce quality football, Smith was at least pleased his side had to work hard to overcome the heavy park.

With puddles across large areas of a surface that had just hosted a clash between Blackburn and AEK Athens, simple passes failed to find their destination as the ball held up badly.

Rangers sit second in the table but they have little chance of overhauling AEK Athens, who they play on Saturday.

The Greek side beat Blackburn 2-1 to move to 13 points, seven ahead of Rangers. With each goal worth a point, Smith's men would need to beat AEK by five goals to overtake them.

Belfast Telegraph