Soccer: Tugay injury blow for Gers

Thursday, March 01, 2001
Rangers' injury-plagued season has been dealt another blow after midfielder Tugay suffered a suspected broken ankle playing for Turkey.

Tugay was not the only Ibrox player to be struck down while on international duty last night.

Claudio Reyna suffered a groin injury playing for USA.

Tugay was making his international comeback against Holland after being exiled following a petulant reaction to a Euro 2000 substitution.

But he fell victim to the notorious Amsterdam Arena pitch, which was afterwards condemned by team-mate Ronald de Boer's twin brother Frank.

De Boer fumed: "We have to boycott this pitch and never play a game again in the arena. It is dangerous.

"This is impossible. Yes, we complained many times before. But you kind of hope things get better instead of worse. I have seen players skid and slide about a hundred times tonight."

Tugay was hurt in last night's 0-0 friendly draw.

The 30-year-old fell awkwardly with no one near him and went over on his left ankle.

He received treatment for 10 minutes before being taken away by stretcher.

Ironically, injury had already deprived the Dutch of Rangers quartet Ronald de Boer, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Arthur Numan and Michael Mols and Celtic's Bobby Petta.

Fernando Ricksen and Bert Konterman were available but had been overlooked by Dutch coach Louis van Gaal.

Tugay is yet another big name unavailable to Ibrox manager Dick Advocaat, whose team still have an outside chance of catching leaders Celtic.

A club spokesman said today: "Rangers are waiting for the Turkish star to arrive back at Ibrox to learn the extent of the damage, but the signs are not good."

Reyna is not expected to be a long-term absentee but is rated as extremely doubtful for Saturday's visit of Hearts.

He led out his country against Mexico in Columbus, Ohio, in a World Cup play-off qualifier which the Americans won 2-0 to move top of their group.

But Reyna, who missed last Saturday's 1-0 win at Dundee because he was away with the US squad, did not make it to half-time.

The new injuries give Advocaat yet more selection headaches as Jorg Albertz, de Boer, Mols and Numan are all long-term casualties - and van Bronckhorst and Craig Moore are still not back.