As myself and many others filtered into Ibrox gingerly on January 2nd for a meeting with Kilmarnock days on from Old Firm defeat, some concerning news began to filter around the ground.

Abdallah Sima had sustained an injury whilst away on international duty with Senegal - and it was a bad one.

The whispers suggested Sima was to return immediately from international duty with the initial diagnosis resulting in a lengthy spell on the touchline.

Philippe Clement confirmed to the press post-match that he would wait to speak with the medical team before making any confirmations. The bad news would arrive later in the month.

“It will be long term. That is also why I want to have the right information” the manager said in the build up to a trip to Hibs in late January.

Later the manager would reveal Sima would be missing for “two or three months” with a thigh injury.

It was the worst possible news. Abdallah had hit form by reaching double figures in goals and becoming a constant threat from wide left. The young forward was one of Rangers' players of the season when injury stopped him right in his tracks. And it wasn’t only because of his efforts on the ball. Who can forget Sima running back to defend at right back, winning the ball and then a subsequent free kick to help Rangers hold on in the dying embers of the League Cup Final? His work ethic is relentless.

Losing Sima for the duration of the African Cup of Nations felt costly. Losing him for up to twelve weeks after that initial departure has proven to be one of the biggest injury blows in a season full of them.

It’s been the Brighton forward’s attitude that’s shone as much as his talent. Sima, at the time of his injury, had hit ten league goals and another five in cup competitions. Rangers fans have missed him greatly as have the team. As the side have fought on four fronts chasing a domestic treble, they’ve done so this year without their in-form attacker from the first half of the season.

Sima has also finished above expectation, with 10 goals from 7.04xG in the league. Anyone who watches Rangers will know, taking chances at an expected level has rarely been the case this campaign.

In all competitions, Sima has 15 goals in 33 games, or 0.52 goals per 90. As good as a goal every other game from the wing.

I asked Clement last week, after the defeat against Benfica, just how close Sima was to a return. He almost confused my question with a plea for his immediate return in the coming days which left a perplexed look on his face before I quickly clarified.

“Abda is in the same way that was prognosed before,” Clement said. “He feels really good, step by step. He is doing the rehab more, he is outside for the moment but not with the team yet. He is progressing really well and that is a good thing”

There is a sneaking suspicion the forward faces an outside chance of playing some part in the Old Firm on April 7. Even having him as an option from the bench would offer a huge psychological boost.

Heroes will be made and legacies will be lost in the coming weeks for Rangers, who have nine matches to return the league trophy to Ibrox. A Scottish Cup Semi-Final is also on the horizon as the club chases domestic glory not seen since Alex McLeish’s time.

To achieve such heights, we’ll need everything from everyone throughout the squad.

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Abdallah Sima and his fifteen goals may just return at a time where Rangers require a little boost of energy to reenergise their title challenge.

While his future remains uncertain, he ought to know this. Success at Rangers gives you legendary status you won’t find elsewhere in a football career. 

Sima’s return could help swing this season in Rangers’ favour - it’s exactly what Clement needs heading into the business end of the campaign.