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Middlesbrough issue key update on playing duo

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Middlesbrough duo Jonny Howson and George Friend are set to undergo minor surgery today for their respective injuries, as confirmed by the club’s official website.

Whilst the former of the two players is currently out of action due to a hernia issue, Friend will receive treatment for a ruptured tendon.

Since joining Boro in 2017 from Norwich City, Howson has established himself as a mainstay in the club’s midfield or defence.

After featuring in all 46 of the club’s Championship clashes last season, the 31-year-old has managed to make an encouraging start to the current campaign for the Smoggies by providing two assists for his team-mates in five appearances.

However, Howson was sidelined for Boro’s recent draw against Bristol City and is now unlikely to feature on Saturday against Reading.

Meanwhile, Friend’s frustrating start to the season is set to continue as injury has limited him to just two appearances in all competitions for the club.

Forward Rudy Gestede is also set for a prolonged period of absence after injuring his hamstring on international duty for Benin.

The 30-year-old was given the chance to rebuild his Boro career by Jonathan Woodgate earlier this summer after being forced to watch on from the sidelines last season by then-boss Tony Pulis.

The Verdict

With the Smoggies’ injury issues mounting, it will be intriguing to see how they cope in the coming weeks in the Championship.

Whilst it is fair to say that they may not miss Gestede due to to the fact that he is yet to score this season, the same cannot be said about Howson and Friend who are both key players for Boro.

Considering that his side are currently 18th in the second-tier standings, it is paramount that Woodgate starts to pick up victories on a consistent basis as a failure to do so could leave the Smoggies’ promotion hopes in tatters.

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