Smith hopeful over Fleck fitness

05 August 2010 09:31

Rangers manager Walter Smith is optimistic John Fleck will be fit before the end of the month despite the teenager being carried off on a stretcher at Broadwood on Wednesday night.

The midfielder suffered a hamstring injury during the first half of his club's 2-1 friendly victory over Clyde.

Smith said: "It is disappointing but the initial assessment from the medical team is that it isn't too major and it might just be two or three weeks that he's out for."

He added: "It's unfortunate having gone through a pre-season to get something like that, and he has been playing well too, so that's the disappointing thing."

While Rangers suffered a blow over Fleck, they were able to welcome back Andrius Velicka after almost a year on the sidelines following cruciate ligament damage.

The former Hearts striker came off the bench at half-time and he is hopeful he can be part of Smith's team on a regular basis following the departures of Kris Boyd and Nacho Novo.

"It's amazing," said the Lithuanian, who suffered his knee injury at the start of a loan spell with Bristol city.

"I am just so happy to be back on the park and to be playing for Rangers.

"Right now I feel so happy and very strong but I know I need to stop myself getting too excited. The tiredness will come because it is so long since I played.

"If I can get back to 100% fitness I think there will be a chance to play, but now I just need to be patient."

Source: PA