Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder has given positive injury updates on Dael Fry and Martin Payero, in an interview with Teesside Live.

Middlesbrough have been without Fry for the last seven games, after he sustained an injury against Hull at the start of October.

Despite returning against West Brom in the game before last, Payero then had to sit out Wilder’s first game against Millwall at the weekend.

Both players are vital members of Boro’s first-team squad and are likely to be in Wilder’s starting eleven when fully fit.

When asked about injury updates, the Middlesbrough manager revealed that both players are close to returning to action.

“We’ve got a couple pretty close to coming back,” said Wilder.

“Dael Fry is not a million miles away, we’re possibly looking at the back end of the week for him to join in, which is big for us. He’s obviously a big player.

“Payero is pretty much the same. He’ll miss out against Preston, but isn’t far away. There’s another couple that are touch and go, that we’ll give as long as we possibly can.”

Elsewhere, Middlesbrough are potentially set to be without a whole host of players for the visit of Preston on Tuesday night.

Darnell Fisher, Marcus Browne, Grant Hall, and Sammy Ameobi are long-term absentees; whilst there are fitness concerns surrounding Anfernee Dijksteel and Uche Ikpeazu, after missing the last few games. Andraz Sporar, who came off at half-time against Millwall with an ankle problem, could also sit the game out.

The Slovenian is set to be assessed, but we expect him to miss out in place of youngster Josh Coburn, who could make his third start of the season and his first under Wilder.

Boro go into the game with Preston without a win in their last four games. A win could take them into the top half of the table, but this same incentive also applies to Preston, who start the game two points behind Tuesday’s opponents and two places below.