Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock has given an update to Teesside Live on the fitness of striker Andraz Sporar.
Middlesbrough moved up to 10th in the Championship table after a 2-0 victory over Barnsley in midweek. Goals from Sporar and Matt Crooks saw all three points go to the hosts, securing back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
Sporar scored his second of the campaign, his first coming in the 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest last month. But the 33-time Slovenian international was replaced by Uche Ikpeazu in the 65th minute.
After playing a part for his native Slovenia in the international break last week, the substitution was just precautionary, Warnock confirmed.
“He felt his abductor on international duty and he said he felt it again so we said he better come straight off,” he said.
“I said, ‘run around until your cream crackered and then come off when you’re knackered’.
“I thought he did. I thought he and [Duncan] Watmore were excellent up top closing down.”
It is not known whether Sporar will miss Middlesbrough’s next game, when they take an out of form Cardiff City side in Saturday’s early kick-off in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
They do have options though. Ikpeazu is the obvious choice, whereas Watmore and youngster Josh Coburn could also be in with a shout to lead the line.
Sporar is an important part of how Middlesbrough play, he can be deadly when given the opportunities in front of goal, and he drops deep to link up play with midfielders and wingers too.
Ikpeazu impressed early in the season but has only been used sporadically since Sporar’s arrival. If the on-loan Sporting Lisbon man misses out, Ikpeazu is likely to slot in.
However, Boro fans will be hoping the substitution is precautionary and the problem is minimal, in order to have him fit and ready to play against the Bluebirds at the weekend.