Major Ridvan Yilmaz Rangers injury update as defender leaves Turkey camp with Celtic clash looming

Ridvan Yilmaz of Turkey in action during the international friendly match against HungaryRidvan Yilmaz of Turkey in action during the international friendly match against Hungary
Ridvan Yilmaz of Turkey in action during the international friendly match against Hungary
The left-back limped off in the first half of Turkey's international friendly with Hungary in Budapest

Rangers are sweating over the fitness of Ridvan Yilmaz for the upcoming Old Firm clash against Celtic on April 7 after the defender was forced to withdraw from the Turkey squad due to injury.

The left-back - who has cemented his place as a regular starter under Philippe Clement since the turn of the year - earned a call-up to the national team squad following a string of stellar performances for the Ibrox side in recent months.

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He was handed a rare start by Turkey's new Italian head coach Vincenzo Montella against Scotland's Euro 2024 opponents Hungary in Budapest on Friday night, but lasted just 27 minutes of the friendly encounter before limping off and was spotted clutching his left thigh during the 1-0 defeat.

Yilmaz was replaced by Mert Muldur, leaving Rangers' medical staff facing an anxious wait to discover the severity of the issue ahead of the Scottish Premiership restart and a crucial showdown against Brendan Rodgers' side on the horizon.

Montella offered a cautious update on Yilmaz's condition post-match, stating: "I will think about this issue. We need to evaluate the physical condition of our players. I also have a plan in my mind for young people to gain experience in such matches. I will make my decisions after making a good evaluation."

It has since emerged that Yilmaz has been sent back to Glasgow to undergo further treatment. A statement released by the Turkish football federation read: "A mandatory change has been made in the candidate squad of our National Team, which will play against Austria in a special match on Tuesday, March 26. Our defender Rıdvan Yılmaz was removed from the candidate squad due to the injury he suffered in his upper left thigh muscle in the match against Hungary yesterday."

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Clement will be hoping the injury isn't too serious, with the Belgian already having to make do without the likes of Abdallah Sima, Oscar Cortes, Danilo, Ryan Jack and Kieran Dowell ahead of the title run-in.

In a further blow, Ross McCausland has been ruled out of Northern Ireland's upcoming clash against Scotland. The 20-year-old winger played no part in the 1-1 draw with Romania on Friday and head coach Michael O'Neill has confirmed he is unlikely to feature at Hampden Park. He said: "Unfortunately, it looks like Ross McCausland won't make it. It would have been nice to get Ross the opportunity."