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Page last updated at 12:39 GMT, Saturday, 31 October 2009

Bougherra unlikely for Euro trip

Rangers defender Madjid Bougherra
Rangers had hoped that Bougherra would make the trip to Romania

Madjid Bougherra will almost certainly miss Rangers' Champions League trip to face Unirea Urziceni through injury.

Rangers boss Walter Smith had earlier this week expressed hope that the 27-year-old was making sufficient progress but is now near conceding defeat.

"Bougherra is out of our game with Dundee United at Tannadice on Sunday and, in all likelihood, will miss the game on Wednesday as well," he said.

The Algeria defender has not played for the Glasgow club for a month.

Bougherra had missed Rangers' win over St Johnstone because he failed to return on time from international duty.

Smith accepted the player's explanation of having his bag, containing his passport and phone, stolen in Paris.

But the centre-half did not feature in the following three games after bruising a ligament during training.

We are looking for Mo Edu and Kirk Broadfoot this week to complete the final part of their rehabilitation

Rangers manager Walter Smith

The player had himself targeted the Scottish Premier League game against St Mirren a week on Saturday for his comeback.

But his manager was keen to include the Algerian in the travelling party for the must-win Champions League Group G clash in Romania.

Meanwhile, defender Kirk Broadfoot and midfielder Maurice Edu, both of whom have not played this season, have both stepped their training.

Midfielder Edu had a summer knee operation, while defender Broadfoot has been sidelined since March with a foot problem that also required surgery.

Broadfoot rejoined the first-team squad for training on Friday but is a couple of weeks away from being match fit.

"Maurice had a bit of a problem with his knee and had to go and get an injection and that set him back a couple of weeks," said Smith.

"So we are looking for Mo and Kirk this week to complete the final part of their rehabilitation and they would then integrate with the group after that.

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"We are maybe looking at a fortnight after that before they are ready and, at that point, they will need games because of the length of time they have both been out.

"We hope they will be back in full training next week and then it will be a matter of trying to get them a game or two before we could consider them for the first team."

The versatile Lee McCulloch, who had been in central defence during Bougherra's absence, did not train on Friday but could feature against United on Sunday after shaking off a thigh strain.

Last week, midfielder Pedro Mendes was ruled out for at least two months with a knee injury picked up during Unirea's 4-1 Champions League win at Ibrox, one of the matches missed by Bougherra.

That bruising result left Rangers bottom of Group G and facing an uphill struggle to qualify for the knock-out stages.



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see also
Rangers v Dundee United abandoned
01 Nov 09 |  Scottish Premier
Rangers dealt Mendes injury blow
21 Oct 09 |  Rangers
Smith takes blame for Euro loss
23 Oct 09 |  Europe
Rangers 1-4 Unirea Urziceni
20 Oct 09 |  Europe
Bougherra restored to Gers fold
19 Oct 09 |  Rangers


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