McCulloch's final hope
Gers schemer desperate to make Zenit showdown
Last Updated: May 6, 2008 10:44am
McCulloch: Injured against old rivals
Rangers midfielder Lee McCulloch concedes he is in a race against time to be fit for the Uefa Cup final on 14th May.
McCulloch has been sidelined since the middle of last month having been caught by Scotland team-mate and Celtic counterpart Paul Hartley with a late tackle.
As Rangers chase an unprecedented quadruple, McCulloch is desperate to add his own contribution, aware that opportunities to appear in major European finals are few and far between.
Having taken part in light training over the past couple of days, McCulloch is quietly confident of figuring against Zenit St Petersburg but accepts Gers boss Walter Smith may elect against changing Rangers' starting XI to accommodate his return.
"It would be fantastic, absolutely fantastic if I made the final," he told the Daily Record.
"It happens to fall on my (30th) birthday but no matter when it took place it is a game that any player would love to be involved in.
"But right now, I just don't know what the state of play is. I'm back training and today I kicked a ball for the first time since the night I got injured.
"That was a big plus but it is still a slow process. I am only passing it with the side of my foot at the moment. I'm not putting my foot through the ball yet, but hopefully it won't be too long before I can do that.
Touch and go
"It is just good to be back with the lads again. I don't know if I'll be ready for the Motherwell game on Wednesday, Dundee United on Saturday or the Uefa Cup final next Wednesday.
"And even if I am fit, the gaffer might go with the lads who have given everything in the time I've been out. I couldn't blame him for that - they have been magnificent.
"But obviously I am hoping to take part in the run-in to the season because it has been a fantastic experience and I would be gutted at not being involved in the games that will decide everything."