Malik Tillman expected to make Rangers return in Scottish Cup
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Malik Tillman expected to make Rangers return in Scottish Cup

Malik Tillman did not feature for Rangers in Saturday’s Scottish Premiership victory over Kilmarnock and although the Glasgow-based club will be back in action on Wednesday, club manager Michael Beale isn’t expected to risk his young talent until the following weekend.

Tillman was rested this past weekend and is expected to return as Rangers host Raith Rovers in the Scottish Cup quarterfinals on March 12. The U.S. men’s national team attacker and Bayern Munich loanee rushed back to fitness to feature in Rangers’ 2-1 League Cup Finals loss to Celtic on Feb. 26, but may have been rushed too soon in the process.

Tillman is set to miss Wednesday’s league trip to Hibernian, forcing Beale to rotate his options during a three-match, seven-day span.

“Malik tried to train in the middle of the week,” Beale said postmatch Saturday. “He just felt stiff in a number of areas. We just decided not to take the risk. We felt we had enough for this game without him. And obviously we have a quarterfinal coming up which we are earmarking for his return.”

The 20-year-old has enjoyed a strong loan spell in Glasgow this season, scoring nine goals and registering five assists in 37 combined appearances to date. A total of seven of his nine goals have come during the Premiership season, where Rangers continue to push rivals Celtic, who are nine points clear at the top.

Tillman’s return to full fitness will not only be a major boost for Rangers, but also for the USMNT with Concacaf Nations League action coming up on March 24th and 27th respectively.

Rangers will face a trip to Motherwell on March 18 before heading into the final international break of the season. The current second place side will travel to Celtic on April 8 before likely squaring off with their Old Firm rivals in May once the Championship schedule is announced.

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