Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate has confirmed that goalkeeper Darren Randolph and centre back Ryan Shotton will both be out for four weeks through injury, while right-back Anfernee Dijksteel faces up to three more months on the sidelines.
Randolph has missed ‘Boro’s last two games – a 1-0 win over Barnsley and 4-0 defeat at Leeds – due to a thigh injury, while Shotton hasn’t featured since a goalless draw at Huddersfield towards the end of October.
Dijksteel meanwhile suffered a knee injury in that win over the Tykes, leading to him needing an operation that looks set to keep him on the sidelines for several months.
Speaking to Middlesbrough’s official website to provide an update on the trio, Woodgate revealed: “Anfernee Dijksteel will be out for three months.
“Ryan Shotton and Darren Randolph, we’re looking at another four weeks.”
It has been a difficult start to the season so far for Middlesbrough, who find themselves just one point clear of the relegation zone, having won just three of their 19 league games so far this season.
Woodgate’s side are next in action on Saturday afternoon, when they host Charlton Athletic at the Riverside Stadium.
This is a big blow for Middlesbrough.
Injuries have really taken their toll on the side recently, and they don’t exactly have a raft of options to replace those players who find themselves on the sidelines.
The fact therefore that they are now facing several weeks without this trio is a big blow, particularly with the busy Christmas schedule that is just about on the horizon.
It seems therefore that it is essential Middlesbrough recruit well in January, not just to try and lift their position in the table, but also to make sure they have the options available to see them through to the end of this season.