Rangers face an injury crisis as they prepare to take on Motherwell in the Scottish Premier League tomorrow. Two more players joined their already crippling injury list after their midweek win over St Mirren.
Winger DaMarcus Beasley and left-back Sasa Papac were both hurt in the match. The American was taken to hospital after being stretchered off with a rib knock, and Papac needed five stitches to his ankle after being fouled by Saints forward Craig Dargo.
Although their injuries are not as serious as once feared, they will both miss the Motherwell game, joining Kirk Broadfoot, Kyle Lafferty, Lee McCulloch, Kenny Miller and Kevin Thomson on the sidelines. Manager Walter Smith is already without skipper Barry Ferguson and goalkeeper Allan McGregor as they serve a two-week suspension handed out by the club.
Rangers could find themselves six points behind Celtic before kick-off, as the SPL pacesetters take on Hearts in the early match. But veteran defender Christian Dailly, who is expected to fill in for Papac, believes Rangers have a strong enough squad to cope and continue their push for the title.
"It isn't an ideal situation to lose the number of players that we have done, but it is up to anybody who is asked to come in now to step up and do a job," he said. "Hopefully, the injuries that we have, and the stuff that has been going on behind the scenes, will galvanise us.
"Everybody who has come in has done well. Other teams, not just ourselves, will be affected by injuries at this late stage in the season. Hopefully we can just keep going."
Rangers take on Motherwell after two away wins on the trot, but it is at home where they have dropped points in recent weeks, with a defeat to Inverness Caledonian Thistle followed by a draw against Hearts.
"Without a doubt, it is going to be all about points, not performances, between now and the end of the season," Dailly said. "We didn't play well against Falkirk, but we showed some good battling qualities to get a result. We played well at times against St Mirren. It is handy to be able to mix it up a bit."
Old Firm rivals Celtic have a tough task away to third-placed Hearts at Tynecastle. The Bhoys will be without Greek forward Georgios Samaras, who limped out of Wednesday's win over Falkirk, and long-term casualty Shaun Maloney.
Csaba Lazlo's side are seven points clear in the race for third as they bid for a UEFA Europa League spot.
In Saturday's other games, Aberdeen host Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Pittodrie. Jimmy Calderwood's side are still chasing Hearts for a European spot, while Caley Thistle need points to edge away from the relegation zone.
Dundee United travel to New Douglas Park to take on Hamilton Academical hoping to get their bid for European football back on track. Craig Levein's side have been rocked by the news that striker Jon Daly is facing up to 12 months on the sidelines after suffering a double cruciate ligament tear.
Kilmarnock host Falkirk at Rugby Park in what is a basement battle. A win for the Bairns would move them above their Ayrshire rivals in the league.
On Monday, Hibernian travel to Paisley to take on St Mirren looking for a win to earn a top six finish, while the Buddies need the points to help avoid relegation.