Tom Lawrence and Kemar Roofe's Rangers injury return timeline revealed

Tom Lawrence <i>(Image: SNS)</i>
Tom Lawrence (Image: SNS)

Kemar Roofe’s time at Rangers has been stop-start, to say the least. But it appears as though the striker’s stint in Scotland won’t be drawing to a close anytime soon.

The Jamaica internationalist, a multi-million pound acquisition from Anderlecht in Belgium in 2020, has been around for three full campaigns now but that spell has been heavily disrupted by a series of niggling injuries.

In his first season, Roofe finished as the club’s top scorer on its way to that momentous 55th title, but was restricted to 24 league appearances. In the next, the centre-forward missed a significant chunk of the campaign – including both legs of the Europa League semi-final against RB Leipzig – before a serious complaint ruled him out for almost the entirety of this one.

Roofe has played a mere 147 minutes of football this season across all competitions, but his manager, Michael Beale, is confident that the 30-year-old can put that injury record behind him and thrive at Rangers – as can winger Tom Lawrence, who mustered just nine appearance this term before an injury sustained in August ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign.

Beale is looking forward to seeing what both players can bring to his side as the Englishman looks to supplant Celtic at the top of the Premiership table – and both appear to be set for an important role in his Rangers rebuild.

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“He [Roofe] would certainly be a bonus,” Beale explained. “We decided for him to go and have the hip operation that has been troubling him for a long period of time now to see if that solves the issues he has been having.

“He is back out running now so he will start pre-season with the team. Him and Tom, I’ve not really been able to use either of them. I have not even seen Tom in training.

“Tom will be probably three or four weeks behind Kemar. That will be nice for him because last year he started pre-season and had an issue within two days. So let’s see where we are at.

“He was our top goal scorer in the year we won the league but it is important that he shows when he comes back that he can be the player we know.

“I do feel for him. I had a long conversation with Fil Helander [last week]. I was here when we signed him and he is a heck of a player. He has missed out on a lot of international games and big games for Rangers as well.

“It’s not easy with a family away from home. Kemar has got a young family that were originally based in England. They are here now and they are here for their dad to play football.


“Kemar is a really strong-willed guy, a really tough exterior, but you have got to make sure that he is in a good place. I think being out on the pitch and being pain-free is a big step for him so let’s see how pre-season goes.”

As Beale alludes to, Rangers have not had their injury troubles to seek this term. Summer signings John Souttar, Ridvan Yilmaz and Lawrence have all featured sporadically due to various complaints; Roofe and Helander have been dealing with long-term injuries; and even the indefatigable Connor Goldson has had two spells on the treatment table this season.

It is a sizable contingent of first-team players that have missed a fair chunk of the season and although Beale admits it has been a source of frustration for him, it also provides him with the belief that the team can take further strides forward when he has a fully-fit squad available to him.

“I think it’s frustrating for Rangers in general, the fans and everyone around the club,” he said. “You look at this season and the amount of football Goldson has missed. [Steven] Davis, Helander, Roofe, Lawrence. Yilmaz out for most of the season, [Rabbi] Matondo out for three months. Malik Tillman and Ryan Kent have missed periods.

“When you look at it as a football club, we have not had the strength of our squad this year. Yeah, our points total – I don’t know how many times Rangers have finished with this points total in the last 15/20 years. I think it’s just when we won the league.

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“So with that bad a team, with all those injuries, we’re that bad a team. I have got to be optimistic because I am the guy in the seat and we will freshen it up. That’s what everybody wants and it’s important that we do that, and then we will go again.”

As for the root cause of that seemingly ever-lengthening injury list? Beale believes he has figured it out.

“I would say that there has not been enough stability around the players,” he said. “When I came in in November I was the third manager in just over a year. And in that time we have had a change of doctor and a change in lead physio as well.

“There have been 15/16 staff that are working with the players on and off the pitch, different ways of training. So I think all of that needs to stabilise. Physios get to know your body and everyone I treated differently, it’s not one-size-fits-all. It’s very bespoke.

“When you have a lot of change around players at a club it’s not rocket science to say you’re going to have some injuries. Our biggest disappointment is that we have had some big injuries that no one could help – the Helander one, the thing with Kem’s shoulder, Tom Lawrence. You can’t help those.

“Everyone saw what happened to Goldson in the game against Liverpool, it was a freak thing. Those things you would like to think won’t happen again, they are one-off things.

“In terms of soft-tissue injuries, we are always looking at that closely and that’s an area where there has been a lot of change around the players. This summer everyone will get a decent break and the international players will get another two or three weeks after that. We are hoping that pre-season will help clear that up.”