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Rangers midfielder Lee McCulloch faces knee surgery

Rangers midfielder Lee McCulloch
McCulloch joined Rangers in 2007 from Wigan

Rangers midfielder Lee McCulloch will undergo knee surgery next week to determine whether he can play again this season, the club has revealed.

"McCulloch visited a specialist yesterday when it was confirmed that he would require an operation to clear up the cartilage problem," said Rangers.

"Rangers are bracing themselves for Lee missing the rest of the campaign.

"But there is some hope that this might not be the case. He has been a key player in the campaign so far."

The 32-year-old had been playing through the pain barrier with a cyst in his knee since pre-season.

However, McCulloch was forced off during last Wednesday's Scottish Premier League game against Hearts and missed the Scottish Cup draw with Celtic on Sunday.

It will be when the procedure is underway that the surgeon will know the full extent of the injury

Rangers statement

He was also forced to pull out of the Scotland squad ahead of their Carling Nations Cup game against Northern Ireland in Dublin ahead of the news that he required surgery.

"It is planned that this will take place next week and it will be when the procedure is underway that the surgeon will know the full extent of it," said a statement on his club website.

McCulloch has scarcely missed a game for Rangers this season but was due to miss the next three SPL matches through suspension after going through the disciplinary points threshold.

However, his loss would be keenly felt by Rangers manager Walter Smith, whose squad has been limited by financial problems despite still competing for honours in the SPL, the Co-operative Insurance Cup, the Scottish Cup and the Europa League.

Smith had said earlier in the week: "It could be that Lee is out for the the season, so we're preparing for that aspect.

"If an operation is necessary, he'll be out until the end of the campaign, but we'll see what the situation is once he has been assessed."

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see also
Gordon pulls out Scotland squad
08 Feb 11 |  Scotland
McCulloch relief at Scots return
30 Aug 10 |  Rangers
McCulloch signs Rangers extension
12 Aug 10 |  Rangers


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