Scotland head coach Craig Levein has hinted defender Andy Webster will fill Gary Caldwell's boots for their Euro 2012 qualifiers in September.
Wigan defender Caldwell will miss the start of next season after being told he needs double hip surgery, meaning anything up to five months on the sidelines.
Webster has enjoyed a season to remember with Dundee United after helping Peter Houston's side lift the Scottish Cup during a season-long loan from Rangers.
The 28-year-old was in the international wilderness prior to his campaign at Tannadice and Levein insists his form means he is now in a position to add to his 22 caps.
"The move has worked for Andy, it has worked for Walter Smith, it has worked for Dundee United and it has worked also for Scotland and myself," Levein told the Daily Record.
"Andy is back to the level we all want to see him at and in the long run that is going to benefit Rangers and Scotland.
"Walter sent him to me so Andy would get some games under his belt and build up his experience.
"Webby is now ready to step into the Rangers first team when that was clearly not the case 12 months ago.
"Andy is the guy who made the difference to United this season. He's what turned a good side into a Scottish Cup winning side."
Levein admits the news of Caldwell's surgery is a blow and he is now hoping the likes of Webster, Gerry Kenneth and Christophe Berra stay fit for their crucial Euro 2012 qualifiers.
"The news about Gary Caldwell is a blow," he continued.
"We don't have an abundance of experienced centre-backs so it's going to be important guys like Andy Webster and also Gary Kenneth stay fit.
"Having watched them perform the way they did at Hampden on Saturday underlines to me they are going to be important players, along with Christophe Berra at Wolves."