Middlesbrough have had a whole host of injuries so far this season, and if Head Coach Jonathan Woodgate did have a fully fit squad to choose from, they may be higher up the table.
Middlesbrough currently sit in 13th place after two wins, three draws and two defeats in their first seven games.
A key player for Boro over the past couple of seasons has been Jonny Howson. Naturally a central midfielder, Howson has been used primarily as a right-back this season having been utilised in the role by previous Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis.
Howson recently had surgery after being diagnosed with a hernia, and has missed his side’s last two games. Anfernee Dijksteel’s arrival in the summer has helped defensive matters somewhat, with Boro light in numbers in defence.
Speaking to Teesside Live, Howson gave supporters an update on his injury, and when he should be returning to the fold.
“I flew to Germany last Monday and had (surgery) Tuesday morning and it went well, and hopefully I won’t be too far away,” he said.
“I’m back on the grass now.
“Hopefully I’ll be back quick and as good as new.
“I’m not sure of the timetable but I’m outside now, I’ve started running a little bit and it feels really good.
“So hopefully I can kick on now and within a couple of weeks I like to think I’ll be back.”
A couple of weeks would mean Howson would return for Middlesbrough’s next home game, Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday 28th September at The Riverside.