Middlesbrough Head Coach Jonathan Woodgate has given an update on five injured players ahead of their third pre-season fixture this weekend.

Speaking after Middlesbrough’s 3-1 win over Gateshead on Wednesday, Woodgate was quick to give an update on five senior players who were missing from the match day squad.

Martin Braithwaite, George Friend, Dani Ayala and Dael Fry were all absent as they receive treatment for injuries, whereas Britt Assombalonga was missing due to international commitments with DR Congo in the African Cup of Nations.

“Its really important for him to get that break. He needs the rest to be ready for us.”

Braithwaite’s absence has been talked up due to wanting to leave this transfer window. However, it was explained by Woodgate he was not included because of a knock picked up in training.

“Martin picked up a slight thigh injury in training but he should be okay”, he said. He could feature in Middlesbrough’s next pre-season fixture, as they travel to National League side Hartlepool United on Sunday afternoon.

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The Boro boss also gave updates on defensive trio George Friend, Dani Ayala and Dael Fry.

“Friend is still struggling from last season, he got a knock and he’s still working his way back,” he added.

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