Middlesbrough have been rocked by the news that Darnell Fisher will miss the entire 2021/22 season after a friend fell onto his knee and left him needing an operation.
Neil Warnock is preparing for another season at the helm at the Riverside Stadium, with Boro looking to build on last year’s 10th place finish. There was a brief flirtation with the play-offs, but the Teessiders eventually fell away.
The aim for the coming campaign will be to improve and launch a sustained challenge. Fisher’s untimely accident and subsequent absence is a significant blow.
Warnock detailed, as quoted by Teesside Live, spoke of Fisher’s lingering lay-off: “We’re not sure on Darnell at the moment but it doesn’t look good.
“It’s looking like an operation, you’re talking nine months.
“We’re not optimistic. From what he’s telling us it was a complete accident – an accident with a mate slipping and falling on him and crashing on his knee.”
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The 27-year-old arrived at Middlesbrough in the January transfer last season, with the right-back going on to make 12 appearances for Warnock’s side during the run-in.
Prior to that, he’d been a stalwart at Preston North End over three seasons, making 111 Championship appearances and a further eight in domestic cup competitions.
Anfernee Dijksteel remains a right-back option to Warnock ahead of the new season, whilst Lee Peltier’s arrival offers cover, with the former Leeds and Cardiff defender able to play centrally or in either full-back role.
This is a mammoth blow for Middlesbrough and one that Warnock surely could have done without.
It’s disappointing for him that the injury appears to have come away from the training ground, with a freak incident really dealing Boro a problem ahead of the new season.
Warnock has the resources to deal with the absence of Fisher, of course, but it doesn’t deter from the fact that the 27-year-old’s presence in the squad would have been a good thing over the course of a long season.
Fisher has plenty of experience, which he mixes with real quality on the field.
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