Middlesbrough assistant manager Kevin Blackwell, deputising for Neil Warnock, has stated in his press conference that striker Ashley Fletcher has been passed fit to play against Queens Park Rangers this weekend.

Fletcher was taken off in Middlesbrough’s draw with AFC Bournemouth last weekend with a knock and he didn’t take part in training until midway through the week.

The club’s top scorer last season will be desperate to play and get himself off the mark against QPR this Saturday and assistant manager Blackwell has declared he will be fit.

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“We took him off as a precaution really. (Chuba) Akpom had just come, so we wanted to make sure we didn’t lose people because we’ve got a massive run of games coming up after the international break. In two months, we play nearly half a season’s games.

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“We want to take the right precautions, and that’s really what it was with Fletch. We’re looking to go in with a full squad on Saturday” he said.

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New signing Akpom could make his debut against Mark Warburton’s side at The Riverside tomorrow if Fletcher doesn’t start. Boro boss Neil Warnock has utilised Fletcher in a pair with Britt Assombalonga in his short tenure at the club and could use the latter up front with Akpom instead.

Warnock does have other options at his disposal if Fletcher was to miss the QPR clash. Marcus Browne could also be deployed in a striker role after coming off the bench to score the equaliser against Bournemouth last weekend.

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