PHILIPPE Clement has stated that Rangers backroom staff are set to start work with out-of-contract Ryan Jack on his fitness in an attempt to find a “long-term” solution to the injury problems which have blighted him.

Clement yesterday confirmed that midfielder Jack, who played for the first hour of the 3-0 victory over Livingston at Ibrox on Saturday, will not be available to face Aberdeen in the cinch Premiership match in Govan this evening.

The Belgian has been deeply unhappy with the number of players who have been sidelined since he arrived in this country back in October and he is keen for the Scotland internationalist to get over his off-field issues.

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“It is only a short recovery time between the two games,” he said. “I will not take risks with him now. We will build him with our medical staff and performance staff in the next weeks and months to make him more robust so that he can come out of this cycle of injuries that he had. That is planning long term.

“The players are all working really hard to be available. We need to rebuild them. But it is positive already that they’re back in contention for a spot in the team and to play. Of course I’m more pleased now than when we had 11 players out. But that was also a situation I’d never seen in my life before.

“I’m used to having teams where almost everybody is fit because we work in a way to create that. So that’s what I want for the future, to not be in that situation anymore. So it’s not being happy about it. It’s still hard work to get them there.

The Herald: Rangers manager Philippe Clement, front centre, with the Glen's Manager of the Month for January“We are going to use all the tools in the building and around the building to try and get that (Jack playing on a regular basis). It is something that didn’t happen in the last couple of years. So it is a good challenge. You see, we don’t only have challenges in the ranking, we also have challenges outside of that.”

Jack is one of six players whose current deals expire in the summer – Leon Balogun, Borna Barisic, John Lundstram, Jon McLaughlin and Kemar Roofe are the others – and his manager has not revealed who has been offered extensions.

However, Clement admitted that he would speak to Jack about whether he should continue at international level after the player returned from Scotland duty with an injury in November and missed a crucial Premiership game up at Pittodrie.

And he confessed yesterday that he had not done so and could leave the conversation until after the Euro 2024 finals in Germany this summer – suggesting that he wants the player to put pen to paper on a new deal.

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“It’s not taken place because he’s just back,” he said. “It is maybe something to discuss in the next couple of weeks. I am not thinking about it now so it is not going to be a talk now.

“I have also been in my national team so I know what it is. It was also for me very important to represent my country. In one moment in my career I also decided myself to stop. We will see.

“I need to think good about it, when to do the talk. It can be after the Euros also. We will see. First we need to see that we can get him to a good level, that he can play regularly without having problems. That is the first step to take.”