Neil Warnock has revealed that Anfernee Dijksteel could be missing for the whole of October for Middlesbrough after picking up a hamstring injury.
The Dutchman started the first eight Championship matches of the season for Boro, but he limped off in the second half of their 2-1 home defeat to Blackpool recently.
It was an unneeded blow for Warnock who already has another right-back in Darnell Fisher suffering from a long-term injury, although Boro didn’t exactly miss Dijksteel when beating Sheffield United 2-0 in midweek.
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Lee Peltier will deputise for the ex-Charlton Athletic man in the meantime but Dijksteel still remains Warnock’s first-choice when he’s fit – he missed spells of last season though due to injury as well.
That is becoming a real concern for Warnock who has revealed he may have to rethink his strategy with Dijksteel if he continues to pick up little niggles along the season, hinting that he’s frustrated by the 24-year-old’s fitness.
“I asked about him yesterday and they said probably three to four weeks away,” Warnock told the Teesside Gazette.
“Then he’s going to have to work very hard. He’s going to have to work harder than he ever has to build up his muscle so he doesn’t pick these injuries up.
“I’ve had a couple of chats with him now. He’s got to put the mileage in now to avoid these sort of injuries and there’s only him can do that.”
“He’s left a lot to be desired in the past. We’re going to have to go back to school.
“We’re going to have to watch him do these things if we can’t trust him because it’s only going to benefit us if he’s fit.”
Dijksteel missing time once again is a blow but Warnock seems to have trustworthy cover in Lee Peltier for the time being.
Even though he’s now in his mid 30’s, Peltier can do a job but Dijksteel has age on his side and that’s why he has been the main man at right-back this season.
These constant injury setbacks though will not put him in the good books with Warnock – even though he appears to be one of the managers favourites.
The veteran boss has already hinted that something needs to change in order for Dijksteel to remain in his starting plans because the setbacks do not help Boro, who need their best players available in order to climb up the table.