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Filip Helander misses two more Rangers games after testing positive for Covid-19

Rangers v Kilmarnock – Scottish Premiership – Ibrox Stadium
(Image credit: Ian MacNicol)

Steven Gerrard admits it is a blow to lose Filip Helander for 10 days after the defender became the first member of his Ibrox squad to test positive for coronavirus.

The Swede was absent as the Light Blues booked their place in the Betfred Cup quarter-finals with a 4-0 win over Falkirk.

He will also be ruled out of Thursday’s vital Europa League clash with Standard Liege – where victory will seal Rangers’ place in the last 32 – and Sunday’s  Premiership trip to Ross County.

A Rangers spokesman has also confirmed to the PA news agency that an unnamed youth player has also returned a positive test.

The youngster – who is not part of Gerrard’s first-team bubble – has subsequently undergone two NHS tests which have returned negative.

Ibrox officials now believe Friday’s original test result was a false positive. The Scottish Football Association has been kept “fully informed” of the situation.

Teenager Nathan Patterson – part of Gerrard’s first-team – is also currently self-isolating after being deemed a close contact following an outbreak amongst the Scotland Under-21 squad, while George Edmundson and Jordan Jones are serving seven-match bans after breaching Covid-19 guidelines by attending a house party earlier this month.

Gerrard said after his side’s victory at the Falkirk Stadium: “I haven’t seen Filip with my own eyes since his positive test, but I will speak to him on the bus on the way home.

“I’ll speak to him in the morning too to get a feeling of how he is, but he’ll be missing for 10 days and it’s a blow for us.

“With George Edmundson missing too it leaves us a bit light in the central areas. That’s what Covid can do so you’ve got to try and guard against it.

“Hopefully we can get through with the bodies we’ve got. We’ve lost Nathan Patterson and we’ve lost two today, so I’m not sure that’s luck.”

The club announced on Twitter that Helander, 27, had contracted the virus.

The tweet read: “Rangers can confirm that Filip Helander has returned a positive test for Covid-19. He will self isolate in line with government guidelines.

“We wish Filip well and look forward to his return to our squad.”