STEVEN GERRARD has accused Scotland of being ‘careless’ with Ryan Jack after he was left furious at the knee injury the midfielder sustained whilst on international duty last week.

The 27-year-old was named in Steve Clarke’s squad for the European Championship ties with Russia and Belgium but returned to Rangers for treatment in the aftermath of the first defeat at Hampden that saw Scotland’s chances of qualification ended prematurely once again.

Clarke had claimed before the 4-0 loss to Belgium that Rangers had decided to go ‘safety first’ after swelling flared up on Jack’s knee in training.

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But Rangers are deeply upset and frustrated with how Jack was handled after being put through a tough training session in the aftermath of the Old Firm defeat to Celtic.

Jack is now a major fitness concern for the Light Blues’ Premiership clash with Livingston on Saturday as Gerrard faces being left without one of his most impressive and consistent performers.

Gerrard said: “He's a doubt for Saturday. Unfortunately he was asked to do an 11k session two days after an Old Firm, which made his knee flare up.

“So we have had to manage him, he has had to have a couple of procedures since.

“He did a light session with the physio today (Thursday) and we are hoping to get him into training tomorrow (Friday).

“I think it's just careless. You should never, ever do 11k two days after playing 90 minutes. That's the education I've had.

“Ryan's got a knee issue that he manages and he has done for a long time.

“The SFA are aware of that, their fitness coach is aware of that. I think everyone in Scotland watched the Old Firm and saw Ryan play 90 minutes. And then 48 hours afterwards, he did a double session.”

The fine form that Jack has shown in the opening weeks of the campaign was rewarded by Clarke as he handed him a recall to the international fold this month.

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Boss Gerrard has often spoken of his pride at his players receiving such honours and there was a boost for Jack’s fellow midfielder Joe Aribo in recent days as he capped his debut for Nigeria with a goal in the friendly defeat to Ukraine.

But England legend Gerrard was clearly upset with the deterioration in Jack’s condition after he reported for national service and took his place in Clarke’s squad.

Gerrard said: “I’ve not spoken to Steve. I don’t know what the session was, only that there was 11k involved in a double session.

“I am very proud when my players get international call-ups, as I touched on with Joe. When Joe scores on his debut for Nigeria I am sitting at home, smiling, trying to find the highlights of the goal. I was delighted.

“When my players are called up I am proud because you feel part of it as their coach. I watched Scotland against Belgium and I wanted Scotland to win because you see all the players you are competing against.

“I am part of Scottish football know and I want to help in any way I can. But when I get the email through to say that Ryan Jack has dropped out because his knee has flared up because he has had two training sessions on the second day of recovery, I couldn’t believe it. It was total shock.

“I haven’t spoken to Ryan about it. I am too annoyed to speak to him about it. It is what it is and we have to move on.”

The injury to Jack is not the first time that Gerrard has been left unhappy with the treatment of one of his players whilst they were away with their country.

The 39-year-old was upset with the Croatian FA following the injury that Borna Barisic picked up during the international break in March.

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Rangers had several important players on national duty in recent days as the likes of Barisic, Aribo and Steven Davis played in friendly matches or European qualifiers.

And Gerrard believes there is a duty of care that Associations must show towards clubs when they take their most prized assets during the top flight shutdown.

He said: “Yes [you want to coach as many sessions as you can], but at the same time the respect has got to go two ways. We give the players over to use and there are different ways. I totally understand.

“I have never been an international coach and you want to get as many sessions in as you can but I don’t think it is the right care for a player who has just played 90 minutes in an Old Firm game and who is drained physically and mentally.

“It is not just that game. Any game of football you do not do a double session two days after a game. Not just with Ryan Jack. I would never do that.

“We pass them over and it is their responsibility. We are not involved in what they do but we do ask for due care. I don’t think that is too much to ask for.”