After avoiding the bison in the room for nearly five years, Rangers are now forced to consider what life after Alfredo Morelos might entail.

Relying on someone else to lead the line was an unpleasant thought for a while given his importance but, after it was confirmed on Tuesday that the Colombian striker has undergone thigh surgery and will miss the rest of this season, that reality is now upon them.

Morelos’ fitness record has been remarkable since joining Rangers in the summer of 2017 in that he has missed more games through suspension (19) than injury or illness. so the timing of his first serious absence for these latter reasons could not have come at a worse time.

Rangers’ hopes of a historic treble this season were on the line and their return to top form was a crucial part of steering the unlikely victory over Borussia Dortmund on their way to the Europa League quarter-final against Braga which starts in northern Portugal on Thursday. .

There is a clear ceiling to this team without Morelos.

They had no chance of hurting Bayer Leverkusen in the last 16 of the Europa League two seasons ago as he was totally uncomfortable. his formidable form was the reason they beat Porto in their prime in November 2019 and why Rangers dismantled Dortmund – he beat World Cup winner Mats Hummels and the rest of their back line.