GIOVANNI VAN BRONCKHORST has revealed Ianis Hagi could face up to a year out of action after admitting he may not return before the World Cup break this term.

Hagi suffered a serious cruciate knee ligament injury during the Scottish Cup win over Stirling Albion in January and has spent recent months going through a rigorous rehabilitation programme.

The Romanian playmaker was a significant loss to Rangers as he missed out on the run to the Europa League final in Seville and their Scottish Cup win over Hearts.

And Van Bronckhorst has now laid out the challenges that still await Hagi in the coming months as he battles to play his part during the second half of the 2022/23 campaign.

The Premiership will come to a halt for four weeks in November and December as Qatar 2022 takes centre stage and that is now the next hurdle for Hagi to aim for.

Van Bronckhorst said: “It is an injury that is a little bit more complicated. We don’t know yet.

“Again we have to see how he progresses but I don’t expect him to be back before the World Cup break.

“Hopefully it gives him five extra weeks. We have to assess then in the moment if he will come back after the World Cup or if he will need some more time.”

Van Bronckhorst has spent recent days putting his squad through their paces in Portugal as Rangers continue their preparations for the new season that will see them bid to regain their Premiership title and embark on another lengthy European adventure.

Striker Kemar Roofe is not part of the travelling party after he was left behind in Glasgow to have another injury blow assessed following his return to training last week.

Alfredo Morelos has made the trip with the Light Blues squad, however, as he recovers from the thigh injury that he sustained in April whilst on international duty with Colombia.

Rangers will round off their time abroad with a friendly fixture against Sunderland this evening and Van Bronckhorst has mixed news on the fortunes of two of his Ibrox stars.

Van Bronckhorst said: “He (Roofe) had an injury last week so we decided not to bring him to the training camp because he wasn’t able to train. We are still waiting on some more diagnosis on the injury.

“He (Morelos) is now in a moment where he is on the pitch again and he is working hard to get to the levels that he needs to be at to be involved in the games.

“I think that process will go on and hopefully he will be ready for the start [of the season] because there are going to be a lot of games. But we have to see every day where he stands.”

Rangers will go through one final session on Sunday before heading for home and begin the countdown to their second friendly of the summer next weekend as they make the trip to face Blackpool.

Defender John Souttar joined up with Van Bronckhorst’s side for the first time following his move from Hearts but the Dutchman is sweating on the fitness of another international stopper.

Van Bronckhorst said: “Filip is doing well. He was doing well this week and then [on Thursday] he felt something so we kept him out of the training to make sure that we assess that feeling that he has even more. Hopefully he can continue the training very shortly.”