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Philippe Clement: Abdallah Sima set to be out ‘long term’ with thigh injury

Rangers manager Philippe Clement (right) is set to be without Abdallah Sima for an extended period (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Rangers manager Philippe Clement (right) is set to be without Abdallah Sima for an extended period (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Philippe Clement confirmed Abdallah Sima is set to be sidelined “long term” as the Rangers manager waits on the final prognosis of the striker’s injury.

The 22-year-old Senegal international, who has scored 15 goals since arriving on loan from Brighton in the summer, was sent home from the Africa Cup of Nations with a thigh problem.

The Senegal FA confirmed Sima picked up the injury in training and a statement warned he could face a “long period of unavailability.”

Clement was asked if had any further update on Sima at his media conference ahead of Wednesday’s Premiership trip to Hibernian, where Rangers will look to use one of their two games in hand on Celtic to cut the eight-point gap to the leaders.

“No, not yet and it is not that I want to keep things away from you,” said Clement.

“I expect to have more news today, tomorrow at the latest, from my medical staff and I always listen to them and not other people.

“So ask me this question after the game and then I will have the information.”

Asked if there was any indication if it would be a short-term or long-term absence, Clement replied: “It will be long term. That is also why I want to have the right information.

“Like I always say, I want to look at the glass half-full, I don’t want pity or disappointment.

“The team and squad has proven they always stand up when something happens and other players do the job and there have been really positive surprises that way so we are going to look for solutions and other surprises.”

Clement, meanwhile, refused to confirm reports that midfielder Mohamed Diomande will be arriving from Danish side FC Nordsjaelland.

So far in the winter transfer window only Fabio Silva has joined the Ibrox club, the Portuguese attacker coming on loan from Wolves.

While Clement expects to add further to his squad, he was tight-lipped about 22-year-old Diomande.

He said: “I don’t speak about many rumours because there has been how many, 50 names in the last couple of weeks?

“If you start to talk about one rumour you need to talk about the other rumours and then I am only busy about that and not making training any more or looking at players or talking to my own players, so I never do that.”

Clement also revealed that 20-year midfielder Alex Lowry will go back out on loan after returning from a temporary spell at Hearts which was cut short.

He said: “The plan is we want him to go on loan again to get minutes and come back in a good way. We will see what teams are interested and what is best for him.”