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Page last updated at 14:32 GMT, Thursday, 7 October 2010 15:32 UK

Rangers' Nikica Jelavic sidelined for rest of the year

Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic

Black's late tackle on Jelavic

Rangers are set to be without Nikica Jelavic for the rest of the year, with the striker having undergone surgery for ankle ligament damage.

The 25-year-old was caught by a late sliding challenge from Hearts midfielder Ian Black on Saturday.

The £4m summer signing from Rapid Vienna had scored four goals in six appearances for Rangers.

Black has said he wants to apologise to the Croatian international for his part in the injury.

Jelavic joined up with his international colleagues this week and, following a scan on the injury, it was decided that surgery was required.

"You never want to see a fellow professional injured and I can only apologise to him," said Black.

In an interview on the Hearts website, Black insisted there was no intent to injure his opponent during the 2-1 defeat and wanted to wish him well with his recovery.

"There was no malice or intent on my part - I was just doing my best to win the challenge," said Black.

"He is a fast player - quicker than I realised - and that is the reason I caught him.

"I have read that he has had an operation and how long he is going to be out and that's a real blow for him.

"I didn't get the chance to see him after the game, but I'll try to get in touch with him when he gets back to wish him all the best."

Jelavic described it as a "serious ankle injury" on the official club website and a later story confirmed the player's absence for the remainder of 2010.

Fellow summer signing James Beattie is targeting a return from a thigh injury, while Kyle Lafferty is another player Rangers can use to partner in-form forward Kenny Miller.

Lafferty replaced Jelavic at Tynecastle and took his tally to four goals for the season by scoring the equaliser.

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see also
Gers redeemed themselves - Smith
02 Oct 10 |  Rangers
Hearts 1-2 Rangers
02 Oct 10 |  Scottish Premier
Jelavic to miss Champions League
26 Aug 10 |  Rangers
Jelavic aims to emulate Dado Prso
21 Aug 10 |  Rangers
Gers sign Rapid's Jelavic for 4m
20 Aug 10 |  Rangers

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