5 key things noticed at Rangers pre-season training as Alfredo Morelos steps up injury recovery

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side returned for the first day of pre-season at Auchenhowie on Monday morning.

Rangers fans will be counting down the days until Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side return to competitive action.

Yesterday morning marked the first day of pre-season for the Ibrox club as the Dutchman put his players through their paces during a training session at their Training Centre in Auchenhowie.

The Light Blues will jet off to the Algarve for a training camp next week and a number of first-team stars, who were involved in international matches last month, will join up with the squad.

GlasgowWorld noticed five key things on Day 1 of pre-season:

Morelos steps up injury recovery

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The Colombian striker has been working hard over the summer to get back to full fitness after missing the end of last season through injury.

The 26-year-old required surgery on his thigh, which kept him out of the Europa League final in Seville and the Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park.

He was pictured on a spin bike machine in the gym at Auchenhowie alongside Nikola Katic.

Katic handed pre-season lifeline

The 25-year-old was a fans favourite at Ibrox before various injury issues limited his first-team action under previous boss Steven Gerrard.

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He enjoyed a successfull loan spell in his homeland with Hadjuk Split last term and the centre-back was pictured working on the training pitch alongside his Gers team mates yesterday.

Fringe players aim to impress

Rangers are currently missing a host of key players due to their recent international involvement, so a number of fringe players will be looking to impress over the coming weeks.

Centre-back Jack Simpson and winger Glenn Middleton were both involved in the first training session.

Both players don’t appear to have a long-term future at the club and are likely to depart on loan this summer.

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Middleton, who spent last term at St Johnstone, has 12 months remaining on his contract, while ex-Bournemouth outcast Simpson is contracted until 2025.

A host of Rangers ‘B’ team youngsters were also involved as they aim to catch the eye of Van Bronckhorst.

John Souttar absence

The Scotland international is the only new arrival at Rangers so far this summer after arriving on a pre-contract from Premiership rivals Hearts.

However, the 25-year-old was absent from training yesterday due to his involvement in the national team camp last month.

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Souttar, who sat out of Scotland’s clash with Armenia in the Nations League as an injury precaution, has been afforded an extended holiday but will join up with his new team mates in Portugal next week.

Which players were involved in first training session?

Based on video footage and images posted on Rangers official social media channels, the following players took part in the first day of pre-season:

First-team - Allan McGregor, Jon McLaughlin, Kieran Wright, James Tavernier, Mateusz Zukowski, Connor Goldson, Jack Simpson, Nikola Katic, John Lundstram, Ryan Jack, James Sands, Scott Arfield, Alex Lowry, Scott Wright, Glenn Middleton, Alfredo Morelos (rehab)

Reserve team - Adam Devine, Robbie Fraser, Cole McKinnon, Murray Miller, Ross McCausland, Kane Ritchie-Hosler, Charlie McCann, Tony Weston

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Absent - Robby McCrorie, Calvin Bassey, Filip Helander, John Souttar, Leon King, Borna Barisic, Steven Davis, Nnamdi Ofoborh, Glen Kamara, Joe Aribo, Ianis Hagi, Ryan Kent, Kemar Roofe, Fashion Sakala