ROSS McCRORIE admits his time on the sidelines has been a mental challenge this season.

The defender burst onto the Ibrox scene in September and went on to make 18 appearances for the Gers under Pedro Caixinha and then Graeme Murty.

But he has not played since the draw at Parkhead late last year after a foot injury sustained several weeks earlier flared up once again.

The 20-year-old is now available for selection and is keen to put a difficult spell behind him at Ibrox.

“The bottom of my foot, I actually tore the ligaments, so when I was playing with it for a month it took a while to heal and it wasn’t helping when I was playing on it," McCrorie told RangersTV.

“So when we came back from Florida I got a scan on it and saw what the problem was. It has taken quite a while but it has been great with the physio staff – Steve and Alex – and also the Doc, they have been great with me and managed to get it sorted.

“Mentally it has been a challenge because this is the longest injured I have had. I have never really been injured before, I have always just played through something.

“We weren’t sure what to do with it so I got the injections and we just had to let it go through the healing process and do the rehab.

“Sitting in the stands, I have seen different aspects of the game watching it. Obviously I had good company with Lee Wallace, and Graham Dorrans and Ryan Jack.

“I had them to keep me on track and they were always helping me and telling me not to worry about the injury. I was doing the rehab at the same time as Graham so I had company right the way through.”