Hines to cushion Bates blow for Middlesbrough’s trip to Brighton

Boro's Seb Hines

Boro's Seb Hines

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SEB Hines is set to cushion the blow of losing skipper Matthew Bates by declaring himself fit for tomorrow’s trip to Brighton & Hove Albion.

Boro remain tight-lipped on the situation regarding Bates, but the fear is that he has suffered a fifth cruciate ligament injury of his career.

He picked up the fresh problem during Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Ipswich Town, a game which also saw Hines substituted at half-time having suffered a head injury.

That led to Tony Mowbray recalling Stephen McManus from his loan spell at Bristol City, and it now looks as if he’ll partner Hines at the heart of the defence for the trip to the Amex Stadium.

“I think Seb has a better-than-average chance of making it,” Mowbray explained.

“He didn’t train on Thursday, but having spoken to him I’m pretty sure he’ll be on that plane to Brighton.”

And, of Bates, he added: “He’s had a scan on his knee and taken it to London to get an assessment from a specialist on Friday.

“Until the specialist has looked at it it’s not right for us to make any comment other than to say it’s disappointing for Matthew that he won’t be able to play in the next game for us.

“We’ll probably have more to say next week.”

Full story in Friday’s Mail