Francisco Sandaza could be out for the rest of the year with broken cheekbone

Francisco Sandaza will be out for at least eight weeks after horrific injury

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Rangers expect to be without Francisco Sandaza for the rest of the year following confirmation he has suffered a broken cheekbone.

The striker clashed heads with Shaun Hutchinson during Wednesday night's Scottish Communities League Cup win over Motherwell and was taken to hospital for an X-ray.

The Spaniard faces a minimum of eight weeks on the sidelines but the Glasgow giants fear he will be unavailable for the remainder of 2012.

Sandaza was kept in hospital on Wednesday night before undergoing an operation the following morning to have a plate inserted in his head as part of the procedure.

Rangers' official website confirmed: "Sandaza now faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines and the minimum amount of time such injuries keep a player out is eight weeks.

"More realistically, however, it is anticipated he will miss the rest of the calendar year as he sets out on the long road to recovery."

The former St Johnstone and Dundee United striker joined Rangers in the summer and his injury is a further blow for manager Ally McCoist, whose attacking options are already limited.

Fellow new recruit David Templeton is out for a number of weeks with ankle ligament damage, while Andy Little is still recovering from a foot problem.