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By ESPN Staff

Gers skipper Ferguson ruled out for season

Barry Ferguson's hopes of playing for Rangers again this season have been dashed after he was ruled out of the run-in with a calf tear.

The 31-year-old midfielder suffered the injury less than two minutes into Tuesday's reserve match against Hearts, his first appearance for the club since returning from a two-week suspension imposed for his behaviour while on Scotland duty.

Ferguson was punished along with Ibrox team-mate Allan McGregor for flicking V-signs at photographers days after being dropped from the national team for indulging in an early-hours drinking session.

Ferguson, who was also stripped of the captaincy and banned from representing Scotland ever again, limped out of Tuesday's goalless draw at Stirling Albion's Forthbank Stadium.

He has since been assessed by medics and test results have shown he has a small tear in his right calf, which will rule him out for between four and six weeks.

His injury will spark speculation he has played his last game for the club.

When banning Ferguson and McGregor for two weeks without pay earlier this month, manager Walter Smith briefed reporters that their Ibrox careers were over.

But he performed a dramatic U-turn once their suspensions had been served, welcoming them back to the squad and admitting he was wrong to suggest they would never be picked again.

However, Ferguson was one of a number of players Rangers were prepared to sell in the January transfer window as they looked to cut both their level of debt and their wage bill.

As one of the biggest earners at the club, it seems unlikely he would not find himself in a similar position this summer.

His form this season has also been heavily criticised, with his failure to establish an understanding with Pedro Mendes in midfield often cited as one of the main reasons Rangers have found themselves trailing Celtic in the Scottish Premier League title race.

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