Rangers: Injured Niko Kranjcar eyes return to top team action next season
Rangers midfielder Niko Kranjcar hopes to fully recover from a knee injury in time for the start of next season.
The 32-year-old has stepped up his rehabilitation after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in October.
And he told Rangers TV: "It is going quite well and I am doing fitness work outside now on the pitch and I'm doing a lot of gym work.
"Come May, hopefully I can join in with the lads and do a full session, but the goal is to be fit for next season."
The Croatia international joined Rangers from New York Cosmos in the summer and was beginning to find form when injury struck.
"It happened in training, my foot got stuck while I was doing a dribble and I went over on my knee and unfortunately ruptured the ACL," added Kranjcar, who scored three goals before being sidelined.
"You have to be patient with these injuries and I think it is really important to have it 100% before I start doing any harder work."
The former QPR, Dynamo Kiev, Tottenham and Portsmouth star revealed the injury lay-off has made for one of the most difficult periods of his career.
"The recovery process has been a nightmare," Kranjcar said. "This is definitely the worst injury I have ever had, the longest I had been out before was probably two months and this is between six and nine months.
"It is a long road and it is quite lonely. It has its ups and downs, the easiest thing to do is always to give up but once you do start doing your rehab I think there is always a voice in your head telling you to get through it.
"Obviously there are days when you watch a game of football and you're not involved so it is hard and you just wish you could play.
"I have great support at home from my missus and from my whole family and all my friends. I have been in football ages now and that helps.
"I am happy that I got injured? Of course not, it is frustrating, it is hard but I do have a motivation to come back as good as I was before the injury so I guess that is something which keeps me going."