Middlesbrough have endured somewhat of an injury crisis this season. But five of those injured players returned to light training today, the club has confirmed.
Middlesbrough have had just two senior defenders fit in recent weeks. Manager Neil Warnock has had to use 36-year-old Sol Bamba and 34-year-old Lee Peltier in a back four with midfielders Paddy McNair and Jonny Howson.
But this has been surprisingly successful, with Boro achieving three wins on the spin, and three consecutive clean sheets in the process.
However, Warnock will be hoping to be able to call upon some of his current injured crop in the coming weeks, with Dael Fry, Grant Hall, Anfernee Dijksteel and Marc Bola returning to light training this week along with winger Marcus Browne.
The four defenders would likely be Boro’s first choice on paper, but it is not known whether the boss would want to change a winning formula even if they did come back in contention.
The report states that none of the quintet will be available for the club’s game against Birmingham City on Saturday afternoon though, with Howson, McNair, Bamba and Peltier likely to continue at the back.
Sammy Ameobi and Darnell Fisher are their only other long-term absentees, although the pair look to be further behind in their progress and recovery.
This would be a huge boost for Middlesbrough. The back four at present has impressed however, but it will give Warnock more options.
Bamba and Peltier were brought in in the summer to provide leadership and experience, not particularly to play two games a week.