Middlesbrough could welcome back Martin Payero as they host Blackpool this weekend – but Paddy McNair and Marc Bola are not likely to make it back from their injuries, Neil Warnock has confirmed.
Bola featured in all five games before the international break but after coming on as a substitute against Blackburn Rovers at the end of August, he suffered an injury and hasn’t been in the squad for Boro’s last two matches.
Similarly McNair was a regular starter before going off with Northern Ireland, switching between a centre-back and a central midfield position under Warnock, but he suffered a hamstring strain in the warm-up at Coventry City last weekend and was subsequently withdrawn from selection.
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He wasn’t missed in midweek as Boro beat Nottingham Forest 2-0 at the City Ground but fans were hoping that McNair would be ready to return for the visit of the Seasiders to the Riverside.
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But Warnock has put a dampener on those hopes and unless a miracle occurs then neither McNair or Bola will be featuring.
“I don’t think (they’ll make it),” Warnock told the media ahead of the Blackpool match, per the Northern Echo.
“They both did some light training, and I haven’t seen the physios yet.
“I’ll be having a meeting with the physios and the doctor, and I’ll know more then.”
Even though Boro cruised to success against Nottingham Forest this week, it would have been a big boost for Bola and McNair to be back in Warnock’s plans.
Whilst neither have fully been ruled out of being selected, it seems rather unlikely now that they’ll make it for the visit of Neil Critchley’s side.
Despite not having a particular amount of strong depth at either left-back or central midfield, both Lee Peltier and Jonny Howson did good jobs on Wednesday evening in the places of both injury-stricken players and you can’t argue with them keeping their places.
If the winning run continues then Bola and McNair aren’t guaranteed their places back in the line-up when they are fit, which will be presumably next week, so it could end up being a bit of a wait for them to start a game again if Boro go on a good run of form.