Filip Helander: Rangers boss explains ‘difficult’ decision he had to make on Swedish defender
But the 28-year-old’s return to fitness came too late for manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst to sign him into the Ibrox club’s squad for their Europa League knockout tie against Borussia Dortmund later on. this month.
Helander has been sidelined since undergoing surgery for a knee injury he suffered against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park last September. He is now back in training but van Bronckhorst opted to drop him from the list he was due to submit to UEFA last week. Rangers travel to Germany for the first leg against the Bundesliga giants on February 17 with the second leg at Ibrox seven days later.
“It was a tough decision to leave him out of the European squad because we only had 23 players we could put on the roster,” van Bronckhorst said.
“At that time I picked the players who were fit to play games and also the players who can play in different roles. Filip is really close to getting minutes again. Hopefully we can involve him in the weekend so that he starts playing and then will also be involved in the league team and the cup competition.
“The only competition he can’t play is in Europe. Once he’s done his minutes, he’ll be back in the team as well. It looks pretty positive for him. He’ll be back playing very soon.”