‘I can see progression’ - Ianis Hagi offers Rangers timely injury boost as attacker spotted training alone
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Rangers attacking midfielder Ianis Hagi is firmly on the comeback trail after he was pictured stepping up his return from a devastating knee injury that has kept him out since January.
The Romania international posted a series of images on his Instagram account taking part in various training exercises at the club’s Training Centre in Milngavie, both on the pitch with a ball at his feet and in the gym. He captioned the post: “On a daily basis.”
Hagi was forced to undergo surgery after damaging his anterior curciate ligament in the Scottish Cup win over Stirling Albion earlier this year, with the initial prognosis being a period of nine-12 months on the sidelines.
There have since been conflicting reports around Hagi’s possible return date. His father, ex-Barcelona great Gheorghe, previously suggested there was little chance of his son appearing in the Light Blues shirt before the end of the year.
Although manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst recently stated the playmaker was entering the “final stretch” of his recovery, suggestions that he had suffered a setback seemingly threatened to derail his progress.
However, the 24-year-old reassured fans that all is going to plan with his rehabilitation and it seems he could be back on the Ibrox pitch sooner rather than later after being put through his paces while his team-mates were granted a fortnight’s holiday during the World Cup break.
Speaking last month, he told Romanian outlet Gazeta Sporturilor: “I’ve seen a lot of talk in these almost nine months. Many gave their opinion where it was not known. My injury was very clear from the first episode of the documentary I posted. It is an injury with a recovery period of nine-12 months.
“There was no problem coming back earlier. There was a lot of talk, but there was no point. I’m fine, it’s not been nine months since the operation. I’m on the right track. There are also moments when you stagnate, it’s part of the recovery. You have to accept it. It’s more of a mental injury than a physical one, but I’m very good mentally and I feel strong.
“It won’t be long before I recover. Everything is fine, stop listening left and right. I want to be in good shape at the start of the preliminaries for my country, that’s the goal I’ve set for myself, I’m clear that’s what I’m thinking about. Also to get back to the club team, play and do as well as I can.”
Having resumed training, Hagi senses he is almost finished his gruelling journey back to fitness. He told RangersTV: “I’m in a good place mentally, and physically. I’m growing every week, I can see progression.
“I was growing every season into Rangers and was enjoying my football so much but in just one second everything can stop for you It’s a rollercoaster through the journey but you just have to accept it. You have to just balance yourself and try to stay with your feet on the ground and work every day and be patient.
“I remember the first day I put my boots on again and started feeling the grass, everything just felt like home. Even just a small run of 10 minutes, I enjoy probably twice as much as I was enjoying it before the injury. I can feel I am getting to my final destination and there is no better feeling.”
Rangers will attempt to gain ground and make inroads on the nine-point gap over rivals Celtic at the Scottish Premiership summit when they return to domestic action on December 15 against Hibernian. A friendly match against Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen at Ibrox has been arranged before competitive football resumes.