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RANGERS boss Alex McLeish is set for a showdown with Marvin Andrews after learning he will continue playing through the pain barrier with Trinidad and Tobago.


Andrews has missed training and needs regular ice packs on his injured knee since taking part in two World Cup qualifiers with his country earlier this month.

And the big stopper is not going to get a break - his national manager Leo Beenhakker revealed big Marv will be at a Gold Cup in Florida next month.

Beenhakker said: "Marvin still needs ice on his knee now and again and sometimes I have to rest him from training sessions.

"He is becoming a bit of a medical miracle and played two great games for me in the World Cup qualifiers earlier in June. We now want him for our Gold Cup campaign in Miami in July.

"I've had a lot of conversations with Alex McLeish about this. I've told him I will take good care of Marvin.

"Sometimes we think we know everything in football and in life. But it seems that God can work in mysterious ways."

The new call-up from Dutch coach Beenhakker is sure to alarm Ibrox manager McLeish as he starts to make preparations for next season.

Marvin stunned Big Eck and the football world when he refused to undergo cruciate ligament surgery last season due to his devout religious beliefs.

Despite his condition, the big stopper returned to the Gers first team for the final five games of the 2004/05 campaign and helped his team land the SPL title.

Yet, Ibrox medical staff are still concerned about the fitness of the fans' favourite and the toll these extra games will be taking on his body.

The 29-year-old will take part in at least three games in the Gold Cup in Miami from July 6-11, and more if Trinidad and Tobago qualify for the knockout stages. If they do go through, then Marvin could miss Rangers' pre-season tour to Canada.

Although McLeish was content to let Andrews take part in his country's World Cup qualifiers, he feels his player should be rested for this competition.

The Gold Cup is the main tournament of the Concacaf nations and involves sides from North and Central America and also from the Caribbean.

Beenhakker has insisted on having as close to his best possible line-up available as he can.

He argued: "It is important that we use the games that we have in this tournament. It will give us a chance to work a little more and have some further time together as a team before the next set of matches come around in our World Cup campaign."

McLeish's fears will no doubt be heightened by the continuing stand-off with Panathinaikos over the future of defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos.

Gers are still attempting to secure the Greece international on a long-term deal despite the Athens club trying to offload him elsewhere to boost their coffers.

Elsewhere, French club Lille have slapped a £3.5million price tag on their Greek defender, Stathis Tavlaridis, that looks to have ruled Rangers out of the running.