Middlesbrough face a nervous wait to hear if one of their key men will be available in time to face QPR at the Riverside this weekend.
The club revealed that George Friend is a doubt ahead of the game, which will leave Tony Pulis sweating over his fitness for the game.
Friend has been ever-present in Tony Pulis’ squad this season, and is yet to miss a league game this season, so it will be hugely frustrating if he is to miss out for this one.
The 31-year-old has played a crucial role for Middlesbrough as they look to return to make a long-awaited return to the Premier League this season.
Boro are currently sat 5th in the Championship table and will be keen to build on an impressive showing against Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, where they ran out 1-0 winners at Ewood Park.
The full-back was substituted midway through their game with Rovers, and Friend isn’t the only injury worry for Tony Pulis this weekend.
Ryan Shotton and Aden Flint are also struggling with injury problems, and it remains to be seen as to whether they will be available against QPR.
It leaves the Boro boss short on defensive options, but he will be boosted by the return of Daniel Ayala who served his one-match-suspension against Blackburn.
They will need to win games such as these to have any chance in gaining promotion this season, with the promotion-chasing pack edging closer to the top six each week.
His absence would be a huge blow for Boro.
Friend has been a regular in Tony Pulis’ side and is one of those defenders who you can rely on to perform to a high standard for the majority of the season.
Boro need him available, and Pulis will be giving him as much time as possible to prove his fitness ahead of the weekend.