An ill-timed knee problem has added injury to insult for Matt Crooks. Rangers’ forgotten man until his January loan move to Scunthorpe United, the 23-year-old’s season is over already after being ruled out for up to three months, as reported by the Scunthorpe Telegraph.
As such, a largely frustrating season has ended in rather fitting fashion. After moving from Accrington Stanley to Ibrox last summer, Crooks was handed just one Scottish Premiership start by former Rangers boss Mark Warburton before being shipped out in January.
And after offering a timely reminder of his qualities with a string of superb performances for the League One promotion hopefuls, a distressing injury blow means Crooks now faces the prospect of returning to Glasgow with his future very much uncertain.
Yet, if praise from Scunthorpe’s manager Graham Alexander is anything to go by, Pedro Caixinha should at least give Crooks an opportunity to prove his worth at Ibrox.
"It is a blow to us because he has been fantastic, especially in the period when he has come into the team," Alexander told the Scunthorpe Telegraph of the midfielder, who netted late winners against both Rochdale and Bradford.
"I am gutted for Crooksy because it has been a frustrating time for him this season, but he got into the team, nailed his spot down and injury has took it away from him.”
The cynics may argue that the premature end to Crooks’ season, coupled with the fact he will be absent for much of the summer preparations, will damage his chances of forcing his way into Caixinha’s plans.
Yet if he can replicate his dynamic performances for Scunthorpe, epitomised by his crunching tackles and thunderbolt strikes, Crooks could still play a major role for Rangers’ in the coming years.