Kemar Roofe is counting down the sands of time. The coming weeks will determine if his clock is ticking at Ibrox.

A post on his Instagram page earlier this week saw Roofe state that he 'can't wait for pre season to start'. The words were accompanied by icons of a sand timer and a football underneath a video that showed him going through a range of passing and shooting drills alongside two friends.

The comments were full of well-wishes. Roofe may have lost the support of a section of Rangers fans over the last few months but there will be many who still have faith in his ability to produce as part of a successful side.

Roofe's quality is not in doubt. His reliability is, though, and it is those questions that he must answer, those doubts that he must overcome, if he is indeed to have a role to play within Michael Beale's squad ahead of his fourth campaign at Ibrox.

READ MORE: The mixed story of Kemar Roofe's Rangers career season by season

At 30, Roofe should be in his prime and his peak. Yet the amount of football that he has missed in recent seasons means he has become something of a forgotten man at Rangers and the last year of his contract will both define his legacy and shape his future.

Beale confirmed in March that Roofe's season was over after he was sent for surgery to rectify a hip complaint. Earlier this month, he spent time at Aspetar, an orthopaedic and sports medicine facility in the Gulf, to continue his rehabilitation programme after being able to run once again a couple of weeks previously.

The Herald: Rangers' Kemar Roofe receives medical treatment during the Viaplay Cup semi-final match at Hampden

Sessions with Enda King, the head of elite performance and development, and Doctor Ian McGuinness gave Roofe the 'final push' to get him ready for pre-season. The Aspetar base speaks for itself in terms of an environment and Roofe, therefore, cannot be accused of cutting corners and not putting in the effort required to rebuild his fitness.

He has kept supporters up to speed with his recovery via social media. Ultimately he must do his talking on the pitch and let his body prove that it can keep up with his mind.

Roofe has never been out of shape during his Rangers career but his core fitness is not his biggest issue. He looks lean and sharp and ready for whatever awaits during a summer schedule that will see Rangers face Newcastle United, Hamburg and Hoffenheim before the competitive action resumes.

READ MORE: Rangers make bid for Feyenoord striker Danilo to boost Ibrox attack

Beale will start putting his players through their paces when Rangers return to Auchenhowie on Friday. The weeks that follow will be the most important of the Englishman's tenure thus far and the work undertaken in terms of transfers and training will either set his side on the road to glory or lead him down a dead end at Ibrox.

It remains to be seen what role Beale has identified for Roofe. The Jamaican internationalist does not need to remind Beale of what he can do, but he does have to show what he is still capable of after a campaign that was blighted by injuries and relapses.

Roofe was limited to just six appearances for Rangers last term. The hip surgery that finally ended his season prematurely came just weeks after he sustained a shoulder injury in the League Cup semi-final win over Aberdeen at Hampden. At that stage, it felt like if Roofe didn't have bad luck then he would have no luck at all.

His final outing saw him score his second goal as he rounded off the victory at Livingston. That moment, like his strike against the Dons, was typical Roofe in style and substance.

Both finishes were from within six yards, both were clinical and both were only possible because of his wherewithal of being in the right place at the right time to collect a bouncing ball or meet a cutback.

Roofe has always been a different kind of forward to those that he has worked with in previous seasons at Ibrox. He is a clever player, one whose movement and touch allows him to operate in different areas of the pitch and fulfil different roles for the team.

READ MORE: Abdallah Sima can live up to hype as part of Beale's Rangers attack

He is a composed, natural finisher and his contribution during the 55 campaign was crucial. Beale addressed that towards the end of the season and spoke of Roofe's strong will and the rough exterior that he has needed to get himself through so many low points in quick succession.

There was a challenge from Beale, too. Roofe cannot live off the 18 goals scored during that title triumph or the flashes of genius, such as the one in Liege, that stand out in a Rangers career that sees him average a strike almost every other game.

A tally of 36 goals and six assists from 78 appearances speaks volumes and backs up Roofe's credentials. Yet missing around 80 matches in three seasons highlights the problem that supporters have with him and the dilemma that Beale faces.

The Herald: Kemar Roofe

If he puts his faith in Roofe and it backfires, it will cost Rangers far more than just wasted wages. The bill for the walking wounded last term would make the eyes water and Rangers simply cannot afford, in football or financial terms, a repeat scenario in the coming months.

A squad that will be reduced in terms of number must be reliable and robust and contribute at home and abroad and the return of Dr Mark Waller, as director of medical and performance, is Beale's way of addressing an issue that undermined him and predecessor Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

Beale has cited the changes in manager, doctor and physios as a cause of the issues that blighted Rangers last term and his staff were continually assessing the soft-tissue injuries and their prevalence. Once Beale gets his squad fit, he needs to get them firing.

READ MORE: Rangers sporting director search mirrors Ibrox and Auchenhowie changes

If Waller can help Roofe in the first regard, Beale will back himself, as a coach and a man manager, to aid him in the second. Winning over the supporters could prove to be Roofe's greatest obstacle but games and goals would quickly silence the critics.

The acquisition of Sam Lammers was the first move that Beale made to strengthen his forward line following the departures of Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos. It won't be the last and deals for Abdallah Sima, Danilo and Cyriel Dessers are at various stages as Beale seeks to add guile and goals to a side that was short of both last season.

On his day, Roofe commands respect and a jersey. Beale must weigh up, though, if those days are gone at Rangers, if Roofe can go on another journey or if he has reached the end of the road.

Beale stated that having Roofe fit and available would be a 'bonus'. Given what is at stake, Rangers can't afford to leave anything to chance.

The days in the desert may well prove to be like a new beginning for Roofe. If not, he will be lost in the Ibrox wilderness and his time will have run out at Rangers.