Middlesbrough welcomed back Marcus Browne and Marc Bola to training after their injury layoffs, whilst Martin Payero didn’t partake.

Middlesbrough have been without Marcus Browne for 10 months. The winger picked up a serious knee injury in the FA Cup clash with Brentford in January and has been on the treatment table ever since.

Marc Bola has been far more short-term, missing the last six games after sustaining an injury in training.

Both players have returned to training this week, just in time for new manager Chris Wilder to take a look at them in action.

Other injured players Dael Fry, Anfernee Dijksteel and Uche Ikpeazu were also pictured, but weren’t involved in any drills as Bola and Browne were.

Martin Payero wasn’t involved in the training session and the a report from Teesside Live states it is likely he will be given time to rest over the international window.

Boro’s defensive injury crisis has left the squad ‘decimated’ in former boss Neil Warnock’s words. A 34-year-old Lee Peltier and a 36-year-old Sol Bamba are their only fit defenders at present, with the likes of Jonny Howson, Paddy McNair, Onel Hernandez, and Marcus Tavernier having to help out at the back.

Middlesbrough defender Marc Bola

Therefore Bola’s return will have come at the perfect time. He has another two weeks to get up to speed due to the current international break and he could be back in contention for the visit of Millwall at the end of their month in Wilder’s first game in charge.

Browne will not be rushed back into the first-team fold though. Given the nature and severity of the injury it will be baby steps for the winger, but it is positive that he is back out on the grass after nearly a year out.